IU Southeast Magazine - Spring 2014 - page 17

IU Southeast
Spring 2014 15
Professor Jean Abshire leads a discussion of The Hunger Games.
Let the
Games begin
IU Southeast students study the politics behind The Hunger
By Gail Faustyn
Students gather together in Professor Jean Abshire’s kitchen and stare in
amazement at the feast that’s arrayed before them. Lamb stew with wild
rice and dried plums. Apple goat cheese tarts. Loaves of bread. Elaborate
cupcakes. It’s a glorious spread — and in the fictional world of District
12, the poverty-stricken home of Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist of
Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular
The Hunger Games
series, it’s more food
than anyone would even be able to imagine.
This meal, though, has been prepared by IU Southeast political science
students enrolled in Professor Jean Abshire’s new class “Politics and
Conflict in
The Hunger Games
.” And the meal expresses one of the central
themes of the book: while District 12 is impoverished, other provinces in
the nation of Panem lead lives of luxury.
Professor Abshire introduced the class last spring as an offering within
the IU Southeast Honors Program. Now, as
The Hunger Games
grows in popularity (thanks in part to wildly popular film adaptations),
IU Southeast is opening the course to any students with academic
preparation in political science.
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