Writer as Reader Workshops
Beloved Community or Reality TV: The Hunger Games and Facebook
November 2, 2012
Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games has been acknowledged as a powerful and important work of young adult literature. While Facebook is not a novel, no one can dispute its importance as a media text in young people’s lives. Studying these works together, we explore what it means to grow up, form communities, and make change in a technologically mediated world. What insights do these texts offer for how we work with our own students, and what do their differences tell us about changing notions of young people’s lives? Additional materials include recent scholarship about how young people develop moral agency and technologically mediated identities, and filmed excerpts from other stories of performance and spectatorship. The workshop explores approaches to each text and to teaching them together, and supports teachers’ efforts to include more writing in their lessons. Focusing on students’ inquiries sometimes seems to require that the teacher’s point of view be eclipsed or erased. We concentrate on helping both groups develop inquiries that take full advantage of the students’ perspectives and the teacher’s expertise. Participants leave not only with new ways to teach the texts, but also with the experience of having worked through some of our culture’s most charged questions about power and freedom, in the company of other committed readers and writers.
Text: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press, 2008)
Workshop fee: $150 (includes morning coffee, lunch, and workshop materials)