YALMC was born from a passion for YA literature, media, and culture and frustration with the field’s continued exclusion from academia. Too often, YA is either ignored as an academic field of study or covered by the umbrella “children’s literature.”
This network exists to help facilitate the research and teaching of YA and to connect not just researchers working within the walls of academia but also to connect anyone and everyone passionate about YA — in all its many forms.
Founder and Chair: Dr Leah Phillips
Leah Phillips is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Warwick, where she completed her Ph.D. in 2016. Leah’s research focuses on contemporary young adult literature, media, and culture, with a particular interest in speculative fiction and discourses surrounding the adolescent girl. Her doctoral project argued that mythopoeic YA fantasy literature — a vein of speculative fiction featuring a creationary mind-set — contests the narrow and limiting images of girls and women in contemporary media culture by featuring bodies of difference, including race, gender, sexuality, and ability.
Her book, Female Heroes in Young Adult Fantasy Fiction: Reframing Myths of Adolescent Girlhood is forthcoming with Bloomsbury mid-2020.
North American Officer: Dr Angel Daniel Matos
Angel is currently completing a book manuscript in which he examines the tensions that arise when the optimistic and socializing frameworks of the young adult genre encounter the pessimism and antiauthoritarianism traditionally associated with queer texts. He is also co-editing a volume on intersectional approaches to space and place in film and media.
European Officer (including the UK): Anthony Stepniak
Anthony is currently studying for his PhD at the University of Northampton (UoN), which focuses on representations of the Wicked Queen in contemporary narratives. The PhD focuses on representations of the Wicked Queen character (first in the Snow White fairy tale) in contemporary film and YA literature, from a gendered and narrative theory approach.
Anthony is co-organiser of the international conference ‘Investigating Identities in YA Narratives’ which took place at the UoN in December of 2017.
Alongside his work related to YA, Anthony is site builder for the University of Northampton’s English and Creative Writing blog site on Medium.com and is a researcher on @SuCCEED@8 a project at the University of Northampton which looks at building research communities through the use of digital interfaces.
North African Officer: Meriem Rayen Lamara
Meriem received her BA and MA from the University of Constantine I in Algeria. She is now a third-year international PhD candidate at The University of Northampton currently writing her thesis on the supernatural Gothic in contemporary Young Adult literature. Her adjacent research interests lie in children’s literature, dark fantasy, supernatural folklore and fairy tales.
Social Media Officer: Ikram Belaid
Ikram is currently in the first year of her PhD at UCL. She is interested in tropes, trends and patterns in YA Fantasy as well as diving into the nuts and bolts of narratives. She works as a freelance editor for fiction writers and enjoys reviewing books on Goodreads.