Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award


Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project


Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Henry Hughes

Honors Program Director

Gavin Keulks


Beginning in 1969, the queer young adult fiction genre has attracted an increasing number of readers. Many critics, however, have noted large problems in the genre, fueled by themes of homophobia and fear, which hindered rather than advanced normalized queer representation. Since the late 1990s, a growing number of books have worked to eradicate these stereotypes and offer a greater range of possibilities for diversity and celebration of queer identities. This thesis will examine three novels that made large contributions to the advancement of queer representation across the young adult genre. The works are discussed in historical and critical contexts—particularly queer theory— and through my own experiences as a gay man and student of literature. Although these novels are not perfect, I believe each book has made a significant positive contribution to the portrayal of LGBTQ+ identities across young adult literature.

GoldsmithJohn_2016_PPT.pptx (856 kB)
Powerpoint presentation