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‘Hunger Games’ enters classrooms

With three massively successful books and an even more lucrative film, ‘The Hunger Games’ series is now heading into college classrooms, including ones at Belmont.

After including the popular series into their own classes, English professors Sue Trout, Dr. Marcia McDonald and Dr. Cynthia Cox will hold a panel about how they each use the book series in some of their own courses.

The event, called “Three Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: Teaching the Hunger Games in College Classrooms,” will take place Wednesday at 10 a.m. in Beaman A&B.

The idea for the panel occurred last summer when all three professors discovered they were each incorporating the young adult series in different ways.

“It was sort of was a complete surprise when we figured that out,” Trout said. “I said to both of them ‘We should do a presentation on the different ways we are teaching this book,’ because in some ways it’s a fairly unusual book to be teaching in a university classroom.”

Trout, who is teaching the series as part of her popular culture course, picked the series because she felt it would be beneficial for the students to read something they would enjoy. Also, she wanted to prepare students to have a critical eye in examining not only the book series, but also other forms of pop culture around them.

“What I’m trying to do is elevate a place of a pop culture fiction by taking an approach of sophisticated, critical theory like feminist, archetypal, and Marxist criticism to a book that I know they are going to like,” she said. “I think it’s important for students to have those sophisticated tools to really look at other things like TV, music, and movies with a critical eye.”

After reading the entire series last summer, McDonald took a different approach than Trout and focused on the series as a form of dystopian literature.

“Part of the reason I included that there was a discussion group in the New York Times posing this question ‘Why is there so much dystopian literature and how it is prominent for young people?’” McDonald said. “I thought that was exactly the question I had when I first read it.”

The English faculty are eager to see how the students will enjoy and reflect on the discussions in the convocation.

“One of the things I think is interesting is that we all saw different things in the book so students can expect different prospective on it.” McDonald said.

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