The Scholarly Side of Harry Potter

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tonight at midnight, Harry Potter fans across America will be saying goodbye to their favorite bespeckled wizard, as "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the final Harry Potter film, opens in theatres. What will the end of Harry Potter mean to the franchise’s loyal fans? Why has Harry Potter been so monumentally popular? And — from an academic point of view — why has Harry Potter been culturally important?

Martin Richardson organized and designed the U.K.’s first university-level Harry Potter courses at Durham University.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" trailer:

Comments [2]

David Zapen from North Miami Beach FL (WLRN)

I forgot to mention the timing of the movies, if not the first book. They presented a welcome escape from The Decade of Hell, as TIME magazine called it, into a world where Severus Snape could be both scary and good, as opposed to the collective insanity of Bush v. Gore and 9/11 and illegal wars and systemic job loss and Citizens United and artificial foreclosure crises.

Jul. 15 2011 11:17 AM
David Zapen from North Miami Beach FL (WLRN)

Did anyone else catch Celeste's mistake that there were no sequels to THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN? It was a spinoff of THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER. Also, the HARRY POTTER books & movies are in the same fantasy sub-genre as THE WIZARD OF OZ (see the 1914 movies) and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (see the old BBC movies and the cartoon) and the two ALICE IN WONDERLAND stories. All four are about normal (if upper-middle class) children entering magical lands armed mainly with common sense, the power of friendship, and moral fiber against overwhelming evil.

Jul. 15 2011 10:55 AM

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