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In The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games, author and scholar Ebony Elizabeth Thomas considers the representation of ethnic characters in written and filmed media. Thomas begins the book by noting her predilection for speculative work, and I was surprised to learn that she also composes fan fiction.
This book legitimizes my own mingling of academic and affinity-based practice, and showed me that, yes, works like The Hunger Games are complex and open for detailed analysis. At the same time, this book challenged my assumptions about balanced and accurate representations in media.
Genre is yet another way that people are separated, and Thomas makes this case clearly and with ample evidence from the works she examines, as well as a foundation in scholarship. My interest in this book is first as a lover of cinema and literature, but also as someone who has a desire to create positive learning environments for everyone.
Thomas's examination of popular culture through the lens of critical race theory helped me think through these works of fiction from a different perspective. I am grateful for the opportunity to read The Dark Fantastic.
May the conversation continue and may social (and artistic) changes ensue.