Is Harry Potter ‘Children’s Literature’?

Is Harry Potter Children’s Literature? “Of course it is.”

But is Kid Lit all the Hogwarts Saga is? Just as obviously, “No, there’s more to it than that.”

And what our thinking of Harry’s adventures as Kid Lit obscures is just as significant, maybe more so, than what that pigeon-holing or ‘literary classification’ actually tells us.

Join John for a quick discussion of a fandom and critical community meme that may have out-lived its use-by date — and share your thoughts for or against in the comment boxes below!

FYI — this is the last of the PotterPundits.com weekly VLOGs that will be posted at HogwartsProfessor.com. To receive them in an email or gain access to them, head over to PotterPundits.com and sign up! [Folks on that list have already received this week’s VLOG, ‘Is Harry Potter One Story or Seven Novels?’] Subscribing to Potter Pundits (it’s free) means you’ll receive the latest VLOG posts as well as the first invitations to sign up for the free online classes this August, the ‘Potter Pundit Summer School.’

Don’t be Left Out!

Click Here for Transcript of ‘Is Harry Potter Children’s Literature?

Click here for pdf ‘Top Twelve Rowling Story Sources Every Potter Pundit Needs to Read (and Re-Read)’

Happy 20th Anniversary, Harry Potter! Announcing a new podcast!

Dear Hogwarts Professor readers:

Happy Anniversary! It’s been 20 years since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. And it seems it’s been almost that long since the last gripping, academic discussion of Harry Potter by your favorite Potter pundits on the podcast Mugglenet Academia (RIP). But never fear! A new forum for over-educated Potter nerdiness is on its way! The new podcast, Reading, Writing, Rowling, hopes to match and even one day surpass Academia in both erudition and geekiness. How could it not, with Katy McDaniel and John Granger at the helm? We hope you enjoy this teaser trailer for the new production.

Mischief definitely NOT managed!

Harry Potter and the Sacramental Principle

As promised, here is the video of my talk for the Ohio State University’s Popular Culture and the Deep Past 2017: The World of Harry Potter (full conference report here). In the talk, I explain what I mean by “Christian sacramental principle” and argue that a particularly medieval expression of this same principle creates and supports the magical contours of Harry Potter’s world.

Please share your own thoughts on my thesis in the comments below, or dialogue with me on Facebook and Twitter (@ekcstrand).

Rowling Apologizes for Killing Snape

Yesterday, on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts (which is incidentally, also the same day that Civil War General Stonewall Jackson was accidentally shot by his own men at the Battle of Chancellorsville), J.K. Rowling, as has been her habit for the past few years, issued an apology for killing off a character. In the past, sharry-snapehe has apologized for the deaths of Fred Weasley and Remus Lupin, meeting great approval from those of us who still mourn those characters (Really. It’s almost time to start the read-aloud of Deathly Hallows with the younger child, and so I am already stocking up on tissues and hot cocoa). However, this year, she apologized not for killing a funny and beloved twin or a kindly and troubled teacher. She apologized for killing Severus Snape. A number of people seem to be very upset by this, as Rowling expected, by saying she was running for cover after making the comment. However, is it really so shocking? It all comes down to how we interpret “apologizing” in this context. Let’s look at a few interpretations at how they intersect with our responses as readers to the character of Snape. [Read more…]

The Luck of the Irish in the Wizarding World

As March winds down to a close, hopefully lamb-like, the month’s traditional decorations of shamrocks and leprechauns begin to come down, and, causing much sadness in mint fans across America, McDonald’s stops selling Shamrock Shakes.  Before we say goodbye to the month of green beer and PBS marathons of Riverdance specials, let’s take a peek at the way in which the Hogwarts saga has, rather like St. Patrick’s Day activities in general, has both celebrated the Irish and reinforced stereotypes and assumptions.

[Read more…]