‘Hunger Games’ Generates Academic Treatise: The Ivory-Tower Crowd Loves Katniss and Peeta!

Jennifer Lawrence, our generation's Simone de Beauvoir (Getty Images)

From well-loved children’s series to highly-anticipated film franchise, The Hunger Games has made a stunning cultural impact in a very short amount of time. The first book in the series was released in 2008 and the series has not merely generated a spring tentpole movie but also a forthcomic academic treatment, in the form of The Hunger Games and Philosophy: A Critique of Pure Treason.

The book is highfalutin: its editors include a lecturer at the University of Indianapolis and an instructor at the University of North Florida (we guess the Harvard types are working up their academic treatments of Twilight). And yet it’s also a bit frivolous: the contributors list is retitled “Our Resistance Squadron” and the titles of individual essays mix the most arch tones of academia with references you may have heard from your younger cousins. To wit:

  • “‘Somewhere Between Hair Ribbons and Rainbows’: How Even the Shortest Song Can Change the World,” by Anne Torkelson
  • “‘No Mutt Is Good’–Really? Creating Interspecies Chimeras,” by Jason T. Eberl
  • “Why Katniss Chooses Peeta: Looking at Love through a Stoic Lens,” by Abigail E. Myers
  • “Sometimes the World Is Hungry for People Who Care: Katniss and the Feminist Care Ethic,” by Lindsey Issow Averill
  • “Why Does Katniss Fail at Everything She Fakes? Being Versus Seeming to Be in the Hunger Games Trilogy,” by Dereck Coatney

Far be it from us to deny that popular culture can expose valuable truths when looked at by members of the academic community! Indeed, we wish we had a Ph.D so that we could have submitted a consideration of the gold eyeliner and pink wigs in Capitol culture vis-á-vis the history of cosmetics and the display of wealth in the American Gilded Age.

‘Hunger Games’ Generates Academic Treatise: The Ivory-Tower Crowd Loves Katniss and Peeta!