Harry Potter's World: Multidisciplinary Critical Perspectives (Pedagogy and Popular... by J.K. Rowling
The Harry Potter books have become ubiquitous early texts for children, and are also a popular choice for many adults. Potter-mania has expanded to become a significant cultural phenomenon complete with a feature film and a wide range of paraphernalia. However, there has been little critical attention devoted to these books and the cultural phenomenon surrounding them. Containing powerful, thought-provoking literary themes as well as portrayals of social and cultural normalcy, the Potter books cumulatively serve as a powerful form of social text and deserve serious critical attention. Elizabeth Heilman brings together scholars from various disciplines to provide literary, cultural, sociological, and psychological examinations of the Harry Potter books as both cultural product and social text.
Covering many facets of the Harry Potter series and Potter-mania, this collection begins with a cultural analysis of marketing hype and product spin-offs. Literary and interpretive perspectives consider Harry as a romantic hero and review the books for their capacity to contain elements of every genre. Critical and sociological theorists explore how the Potter books present gender, race, class, school, family and citizenship. By providing numerous perspectives on the Harry Potter series, the contributors provide teachers, administrators, critical theorists and those interested in cultural studies with a variety of ways to read these popular texts.
About the Author
Elizabeth E. Heilman is an Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Michigan State University.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
But it's just a book for children..., May 22, 2003
from Land of Oz
That was often the comment I received when I wrote my senior thesis last fall about the Harry Potter series. Specifically, I wrote a feminist criticism of the series exploring the ways in which Hermione resists and reaffirms gender stereotypes--"Miss Smarty Pants," "The Damsel in Distress," etc. Although I am a huge fan of this series (even my dog's name is Muggle), I couldn't believe that I was the only adult concerned about issues of gender, class, and so forth in the books. So imagine my delight upon finding this book...until I realized it wouldn't be published until January 2003, and I was presenting my thesis on December 13, 2002. Not only is this a well-presented and organized collection of essays from a variety of perspectives, but it is also edited by the outstanding & very generous Dr. Heilman. I wrote personally to her about my paper (and dilemma), and she provided to me the working & yet unpublished copy of her essay dealing with gender issues. Luckily, the book was released ahead of schedule so I was able to cite from her published version. My own experience with this book aside, I highly recommend it to Harry fans who would enjoy thoughtful academic discourse on the series.