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Friday, February 21 • 11:30am - 12:45pm
From Susa to the Seam: An Exploration of the Experience of Exile in the lives of Esther and Katniss

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Esther is a most intriguing biblical figure –growing up as an outsider, an orphan of the Exile living in the land of Persia, she ascends to royal status. Her quick wittedness and bold courage enables her to save her people from certain destruction. Katniss Everdeen, likewise, a tenacious and resilient youth from the Seam, becomes engrossed in the struggle for preserving not only her family but also her society. This talk offers an intertextual analysis of the Biblical book of Esther and Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, arguing that the works, though set in radically disparate contexts, provide readers with novel insight when juxtaposed. Particular attention is paid to: ritual beauty treatments as a rites de passage that both Esther and Katniss undergo; the opulence of ancient Persia and Panem and the absurd decadence evident in their capital cities; the morally ambiguous mentorships of Mordecai and Haymitch Abernathy and the role that they, as societal insiders, play in leading their protégées; and the experience of exile that the protagonists, Esther and Katniss both endure, in addition to their use of violence. We conclude by contrasting the theological frameworks surrounding of the two books as well as their application for today.

Speakers
GM

Gerard McLarney

Dr. McLarney teaches at J H Picard School in Edmonton and serves as a sessional instructor at St. Joseph's College, University of Alberta. His academic interests include Religious Education, World Religions, J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as Sacred Scripture. His doctorate explores St. Augustine's... Read More →


Friday February 21, 2020 11:30am - 12:45pm
Telus 106 Calgary Telus Convention Centre