Coming of Age in America: Representing Adolescence in Fiction and Film

Module code: AM3038

Module co-ordinator: Dr Sarah Graham

The 'coming of age' narrative is one of the most popular forms of literary and non-literary text in post-war America. Representations of the pleasures and troubles of growing up can be found across a range of fiction, nonfiction and film. In this module, you will compare various representations of adolescence and explore the issues they raise about sexuality, gender, family, religion, rebellion and trauma. 

You will need to read the set texts before each seminar in order to be prepared to contribute to the discussion. Screenings will be arranged for the films.

Topics covered


  • 10 two-hour seminars
  • 8 one-hour workshops


  • Passage/scene analysis, 1,500 words (30%)
  • Essay, 3,500 words (70%)