Video Lecture on “The Hunger Games”

Saw this come across my RSS reader today and thought it looked interesting.

How does the story of Katniss Everdeen – the District 12 tribute, the Girl on Fire, the Mockingjay — fit into the genre tradition? Join award-winning scholar Amy H. Sturgis as she discusses The Hunger Games (both in book and film form) as science fiction.

The lecture will consist of four sections followed by a live Q&A session.

PART 1: MYTHOLOGICAL UNDERPINNINGS
Where did Panem get its name? Is The Hunger Games missing a Minotaur? Like many authors of science fiction, Suzanne Collins built her fictional universe on the foundations of classical myths and the civilizations that game them life. This section will explore the history and legends that inspiredThe Hunger Games.

PART 2: FUTURISTIC SCIENCE
What debt do the tracker jackers and mockingjays owe H.G. Wells? In the world of The Hunger Games, some human citizens of the Capitol alter themselves to resemble animals, while others alter animals to serve as agents of spy craft, torture, and execution. Genetic engineering, body modification, and the unintended consequences that occur when the natural and the human-made mix: we will trace the lineage of such concepts back to their roots in the modern beginnings of science fiction.

INTERMISSION

PART 3: POST-APOCALYPTIC LANDSCAPES AND DYSTOPIAN NIGHTMARES
The Hunger Games depicts a post-war, post-apocalyptic landscape just familiar enough to seem real – so real, in fact, that many fans have used the clues from the novels and film to construct maps of its borders. Its dystopian elements, from constant surveillance to propaganda wars, may also feel rather close to home for contemporary audiences. This section will fit The Hunger Games into the larger context of science fictional worlds gone wrong, drawing connections between Suzanne Collins and her predecessors, including Mary Shelley herself.

PART 4: YOUNG ADULT HEROES/HEROINES IN SCIENCE FICTION
Many reviews laud Katniss Everdeen as a new kind of heroine. But is she? Or is she simply the newest and best incarnation of a kind of young protagonist that science fiction has been celebrating for generations? We’ll identify some of the key ancestors of Katniss and consider how she puts a new spin on a classic genre convention.

You can register for the lecture here.

Only drawback, the lecture is not free…

HT: SF Signal

H+: The Digital Series

If you haven’t checked out H+: The Digital Series yet, I strongly recommend that you give it a try.

A groundbreaking new series by acclaimed producer Bryan Singer, H+: The Digital Series takes viewers on a journey into an apocalyptic future where technology has begun to spiral out of control… a future where the world’s population has retired its cell phones and laptops in favor of a stunning new device by Hplus Nano Teoranta, an innovative technology company that has found a way to connect the Internet to the human mind 24 hours a day.

New episodes are released on Wednesday at 12pm PST.

You can watch the series on YouTube and check out the interactive website.

Check out the trailer for the series:

I like what I’ve seen so far!