This fall, the Literature Program at IUPUI will wage an epic battle between two literary icons: Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games. In two competing sections of English L115 Literature for Today, we introduce students to fiction, poetry, drama, film, graphic novels, and fanfiction through an intensive study of these groundbreaking literary franchises, investigating their literary roots and influences, their impact, and their influence on popular literature in the wake of their publication. In the process, students in both courses will focus on how literature speaks to urgent social justice issues today: gender identity and equality, gun violence, use and abuse of power, racial equality, immigration, and more. Eng-L115 satisfies the Gen Ed Core requirement for Arts & Humanities – but even advanced students will discover something new by returning to Hogwarts or dusting off their Mockingjay lapel pins.
Which series seems more culturally relevant today? To vote for Katniss Everdeen and spend your semester exploring The Hunger Games and other literary explorations of power and revolution, enroll in Eng-L115 #37326. To vote for Harry Potter and spend your semester exploring the magical past, present, and future, enroll in Eng-L115 #38015. However you cast your vote, the odds will definitely be in your favor.