I'm still anti-Hunger Games...
After yesterday's discussion about Hunger Games, I do not think I have been convinced by the inclusion of Hunger Games into the curriculum. While KCHarris made a fantastic suggestion of putting Hunger Games in conversation with another text, I'm still not sure that I would consider the text to be of great value to a classroom -- it just seems that there are other books out there that might address some of the things that we discussed.
1. I felt that a lot of the emotions surrounding the inclusion of The Hunger Games revolved around how it would motivate students to "read". But what do we mean by "reading"? Do we mean (as N. Katherine Hayles talks about in her essay, "How We Read") hyperreading, close reading....? What about the motivations for reading? To be able to think about how The Hunger Games would really affect the ability/love of reading, I think that these are important questions to consider.
2. I do see the point that some of our classmates made passionately about tailoring books to fit in with student's backgrounds. While I didn't take the comment about not being taken seriously in certain contexts personally, I do urge the consideration of how well these students will be prepared to enter college. (Since this seems to be the path that MGuerrero mentioned as being the "model") Would The Hunger Games prepare students to do the type of analysis/close reading required by freshman seminars? I can't speak generally, but probably not at Bryn Mawr.
3. I also understand how the movement away from the canon would be beneficial. But through The Hunger Games? I fail to comprehend why. There are a lot of other books out there -- why jump on the consumerist bandwagon and assign the very text that embodies this? Additionally, if we're so hung up on catering to student's backgrounds, then why not assign a text that has more direct links to them personally? I would have loved to, in high school, learned more about Filipino literature and read more books that I could truly identify with. Just because The Hunger Games seems relatable to "everyone" doesn't mean that it should be the text that's covered.
4. D. (I don't remember your username, sorry!) mentioned that it isn't important to dissect the language of the book; it's the message that counts. This isn't necessarily the case. What about teaching students how to do close readings? Teaching them to rip apart the language and make meaning? Isn't this what high school English is about? Isn't an arguably superficial analysis to gain some semblance of meaning what SparkNotes does? Sure the message is important, but I don't think it is much more important that being able to examine the language too.