A Place Called District 12

Appalachian Geography and Music in The Hunger Games


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About the Book

When creating her post-apocalyptic world of The Hunger Games, author Suzanne Collins drew from various real-world history and geography, particularly from Appalachia, which is reflected in the culture and location of District 12. With the release of her 2019 prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Collins brought readers deeper into Appalachia’s extraordinary cultural diversity and its storied musical traditions. This book provides a tour of human geography, history and culture that establishes the foundation for the saga’s novels and films. Told from the expertise of a geographer, it explores how place can shape culture, how social and geographical concepts intersect and how these ideas apply to The Hunger Games. Specifically, the work explores the idea of “home,” and how attachment to a place is strengthened through landscape, geography and song.

About the Author(s)

Thomas W. Paradis is a professor of geography and community planning at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he teaches a first-year seminar titled “Unpacking the Hunger Games.” His previous publications include numerous books and articles related to urban and small-town development, cultural landscapes, and architectural history.

Bibliographic Details

Thomas W. Paradis

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 250
Bibliographic Info: photo, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8728-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4573-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Introduction 7

Part I: Setting the Geographic Stage
1. District 12 of Central Appalachia 13
2. Places and Spaces of District 12 26
3. Katniss at Home 41
4. An Appalachian Melting Pot 58
5. Small Town in Panem 76
6. Portraying the Seam 93
7. Designing a Capital City 103
8. Panem as World System 127

Part II: The Music of District 12
9. The Ballads of Appalachia 135
10. Mountain String Bands 153
11. District 12 Goes Country 161
12. Bluegrass and the Covey 182
13. Building a Bluegrass Sound 195
14. A National Audience 206
15. Maude Ivory the Songbird 215

Chapter Notes 223
Bibliography 233
Index 239