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UC Davis Experts: Twilight Series and Teenage Literature

July 25, 2008

"Breaking Dawn," the fourth book in the Twilight teenage vampire series by author Stephanie Meyer, will be released Aug. 2. Bookstores nationwide plan to hold midnight release parties, and a movie based on the first book in the series is due in theaters this winter. UC Davis has the following experts who can talk about this latest publishing phenomenon.

ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT THEMES IN TEEN LITERATURE -- Kristin Lagattuta, associate professor of psychology and a researcher with the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, can discuss the adolescent developmental themes and challenges that come into play in the Twilight series, including willpower, conscience, handling conflicting desires, abstinence, sacrifice, identity, unconditional acceptance and emerging love. She can also comment on the appeal of the supernatural element in literature. Contact: Kristin Lagattuta, Psychology, (530) 754-9438 (office), (530) 747-3801 (lab), (530) 902-1296 (cell), khlaga@ucdavis.edu.

VAMPIRES AND WIZARDS: THE STUFF OF GOOD LITERATURE? -- Margaret Ferguson, professor and chair of English at UC Davis, specializes in Renaissance literature, literacy studies and feminist theory -- and has daughters who are fans of the Twilight and Harry Potter books. She can discuss the books from the perspective of literary criticism. Contact: Margaret Ferguson, English, mwferguson@ucdavis.edu.

FANTASY LITERATURE AND POPULAR CULTURE
Amy Clarke, an instructor in the University Writing Program, can comment on the popular appeal of the Twilight series and its similarities to the Harry Potter books. Her specialties include fantasy, science fiction and popular culture. She teaches a popular undergraduate course on the Twilight series and Harry Potter books at UC Davis and has just finished books on author Ursula K. Le Guin and the Twilight Phenomenon. Contact: Amy Clarke, University Writing Program, (530) 574-1016, amclarke@ucdavis.edu.

FILM ADAPTATIONS OF NOVELS -- UC Davis University Writing Program lecturer Pamela Demory can talk about problems and implications of adapting literature to film. Demory writes and teaches about adaptations of classic English and American novels. Contact: Pamela Demory, University Writing Program, (530) 752-9535, phdemory@ucdavis.edu.

Media contact(s):

  • Amanda Price, College of Letters and Science, (530) 752-9023
  • Claudia Morain, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9841, cmmorain@ucdavis.edu

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