AVAILABLE TO ORDER: The Politics of Panem: Challenging Genres (Sense)

Series: Critical Literacy Teaching Series: Challenging Authors and Genres

Volume Title: The Politics of Panem: Challenging Genres

Editor: Sean P. Connors, University of Arkansas

HG cover

By any measure, Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series is a commercial success. In 2012, the bookselling behemoth Amazon reported that the trilogy outsold the Harry Potter series, no small accomplishment considering that the latter has the distinct advantage of consisting of seven novels. A filmic adaptation of the eponymous first novel in the Hunger Games trilogy premiered in the same year, and a sequel, Catching Fire, is scheduled for release later this fall. Still, in spite of its crossover appeal with audiences of all ages, and its subsequent blurring of the distinction between “adolescent” and “adult” literature, the novels that comprise Collins’ trilogy have received surprisingly little critical attention, a result, perhaps, of their status as young adult literature, a genre that is stigmatized in academic settings. Read from the perspective of critical theory, it is possible to appreciate Collins’ series as a multilayered narrative that lends itself to close reading, and which challenges readers to examine complex themes and social issues.

What does reading the Hunger Games series from a Marxist perspective reveal about the material basis of culture? Read from a feminist perspective, how does the trilogy illuminate power relations between men and women? In what ways does the trilogy instantiate, or subvert, dystopian genre conventions, and to what effect? To what extent might adapting the series for film complicate its ability to participate in sharp-edged social criticism? Most importantly, what does a decision to read Collins’ novels from the standpoint of theory reveal about the potential complexity and sophistication of young adult literature? By asking questions of this sort, this edited collection challenges the lingering perception that literature for adolescents is plot driven, superficial fare by making visible the complex readings that are available when readers examine works such as those that comprise the Hunger Games trilogy from the perspective of critical theory. In doing so, it reveals Collins’ series to be a complex narrative that, in the words of Aristotle, instructs at the same time that it delights.

This volume is currently in press with Sense Publishers.

Table of Contents 

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Challenging the Politics of Text Complexity, Sean P. Connors

Part One: “It’s All How You’re Perceived”: Deconstructing Adolescence in Panem

1 — “Some Walks You Have to Take Alone”: Ideology, Intertextuality, and the Fall of the Empire in The Hunger Games Trilogy, Roberta Seelinger Trites

2 — Worse Games To Play?: Deconstructing Resolution in The Hunger Games, Susan S. M. Tan

3 — Hungering for Middle Ground: Binaries of Self in Young Adult Dystopia, Meghann Meeusen

Part Two: “I Have A Kind of Power I Never Knew I Possessed”: What Philosophy Tells Us about Life in Panem

4 — The Three Faces of Evil: A Philosophic Reading of The Hunger Games, Brian McDonald

5 — “I Was Watching You, Mockingjay”: Surveillance, Tactics, and the Limits of Panopticism, Sean P. Connors

6 — Exploiting the Gaps in the Fence: Power, Agency, and Rebellion in The Hunger Games, Michael Macaluso and Cori McKenzie

Part Three: “Look at the State They Left Us In”: The Hunger Games as Social Criticism

7 — “It’s Great to Have Allies As Long As You Can Ignore the Thought That You’ll Have to Kill Them”: A Cultural Critical Response to Blurred Ethics in the Hunger Games Trilogy, Anna O. Soter

8 — “I Try to Remember Who I Am and Who I Am Not”: The Subjugation of Nature and Women in The Hunger Games, Sean P. Connors

9 — “We End Our Hunger for Justice!”: Social Responsibility in the Hunger Games Trilogy, Rodrigo Joseph Rodríguez

Part Four: “That’s a Wrap”: Films, Fandom, and the Politics of Social Media

10 — “She Has No Idea. The Effect She Can Have”: A Rhetorical Reading of The Hunger Games, Hilary Brewster

11 — Are the –Isms Ever in Your Favor?: Children’s Film Theory and The Hunger Games, Iris Shepard and Ian Wojcik-Andrews

12 — The Revolution Starts With Rue: Online Fandom and the Racial Politics of the Hunger Games, Antero Garcia and Marcelle Haddix

Afterward: Why Are Strong Female Characters Not Enough?: Katniss and Lisbeth Salander, from Novel to Film, P. L. Thomas

Author Biographies

How to Order

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IN-PRESS: James Baldwin: Challenging Authors (Sense Publishers)

In-press with Sense.

Series: Critical Literacy Teaching Series: Challenging Authors and Genres

Volume: James Baldwin: Challenging Authors

LITE-Henderson-HB_Proof copy

Editors, A. Scott Henderson and P. L. Thomas, Furman University

The recognition and study of African American (AA) artists and public intellectuals often include Martin Luther King, Jr., and occasionally Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Malcolm X. The literary canon also adds Ralph Ellison, Richard White, Langston Hughes, and others such as female writers Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou, and Alice Walker.

Yet, the acknowledgement of AA artists and public intellectuals tends to skew the voices and works of those included toward normalized portrayals that fit well within foundational aspects of the American myths reflected in and perpetuated by traditional schooling. Further, while many AA artists and public intellectuals are distorted by mainstream media, public and political characterizations, and the curriculum, several powerful AA voices are simply omitted, ignored, including James Baldwin.

This edited volume will invite and gather a collection of essays that confront Baldwin’s impressive canon or writing and his role as a public intellectual while also exploring Baldwin as a confrontational writer, expatriate, civil rights agitator, and openly gay individual during a highly repressive era.

Cover portrait of James Baldwin by Roy Thinnes

%22JAMES BALDWIN%22 - Acrylic, c Roy Thinnes

%22JAMES BLUE SUIT%22 - at MLK funeral - Acrylic, c Roy Thinnes

Table of Contents [working]

Introduction, P. L. Thomas

  1. Conversion Calls for Confrontation: Facing the Old to Become New in the Work of James Baldwin, McKinley E. Melton
  2. Baldwin and the Black Theater, Susan Watson Turner
  3. Baldwin in South Africa, Hugo Canham
  4. From James’ Portrait to Baldwin’s Room: Dismantling the Frames of American Masculinity, Dwan H. Simmons
  5. Another Country: James Baldwin at “Home” (and) Abroad, Sion Dayson
  6. Feeling in Critical Consciousness: James Baldwin’s Emotions as Radical Critique of Capitalism, Jeffrey Santa Ana
  7. James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time and the Jeremiad Tradition, James Tackach
  8. James Baldwin: Artist as Activist and the Baldwin/Kennedy Secret Summit Circa 1963, Charles Reese
  9. Uplift Versus Upheaval: The Pedagogical Visions of Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin, A. Scott Henderson
  10. The Agitating Power of Civil Rights Cool in “Going to Meet the Man,” Beazley Kanost
  11. James Baldwin vs. William Buckley and the Soul of America, Seneca Vaught
  12. James Baldwin’s Gospel of Postcategorical Love, Pekka Kilpeläinen
  13. “Fame Is the Spur”: James Baldwin’s Portrait of the Artist in His Later Novels and His Personal Struggle with Fame, Jacqueline Jones Compore
  14. “Digging through the Ruins”: Just Above My Head and the Memory of James A. Baldwin, Ernest L. Gibson, III

Author Biographies

Timeline

Call for essay proposals DUE: May 15, 2013

Essays accepted, author confirmations due: May 31, 2013

Initial essay drafts DUE: September 20, 2013

Editor feedback, drafts returned: October 1, 2013

Final/ revised essays DUE: November 15, 2013

Proofs due December 8, 2013

Final draft submission to Sense: December 15, 2013