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Welcome to the Young Adult Literature Keywords Collection. This collection is a collaborative effort by the students enrolled in Dr. Jon Ostenson’s English 420 (Literature for Adolescents) courses at Brigham Young University. The purpose of this collection is to explore the definitions of keywords in the field of young adult literature. Here you’ll find gathered definitional essays on these major keywords. See the menu above for a listing of┬áthese essays.

What is a keyword?

Our use of the term keyword in this collection is in line with that of other fields where keywords studies have begun to take root. This idea stems from the work of Raymond Williams, a scholar who, upon returning from service in World War II, observed fundamental shifts in the meanings of words he deemed important (i.e., “keywords”). He began an inquiry into some of these words (resulting in books like Culture and Society and the noted work Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society) and launched a field of study that identifies key vocabulary in specific disciplines and investigates those key terms.