Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name

English Literary Studies-BA




Karen Steigman, PhD

First Committee Member

Phyllis Burns, PhD

Second Committee Member

Jessica Crossfield McIntosh


Social justice, Young Adult literature, Social justice literature, Dystopian fiction

Subject Categories

Children's and Young Adult Literature | Fiction


In recent years, the mass popularity of young adult dystopian novels has led literary scholars to question the rise in popularity and the impact of such novels. This project explores the social justice potential of dystopian fiction, especially young adult dystopias, to act as a model for the way that rebellion can be an important and useful tool in standing up against injustice in society.

Using Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, this project argues that young adult dystopian fiction can model for young people a personal evolution in understanding social change and the revolutionary possibility of actively standing up against injustice. By centering these texts within the history and theory of dystopian fiction and its social justice potential, this project explores the way that this phenomenon of popular culture may be the source of our societies’ next revolution voices.