Harry Potter and the Dissertations of Phenomenal Curiosity
Neither Harry Potter nor JK Rowling need any kind of introduction, much less here on Tumblr, so we can pretty much rush ahead. Suffice to say, Rowling’s is a series of books so magical and transportive that when it was adapted for the silver screen, Duke Humfrey’s Library at the Old Bodleian was enlisted to play the reading room and the Divinity School became Hogwarts’ hospital wing.
Today marks twenty years since the first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the book that started both a literary phenomenon and pop culture tidal wave. By way of wishing The Boy Who Lived a happy birthday, we decided to take a look at the Bodleian Libraries’ archives, collections and catalogues for all things Potter. Maybe the most amazing thing we found was the volume of dissertations that Harry Potter has inspired or influenced in just two decades.
Bodleian readers have access right now to over 165 different dissertations that name Harry Potter in their titles, and over 4,000 more that reference the Potter books or films as part of their arguments.
Here are just a few of these dissertations titles, chosen almost at random, to give you a hint of how many academic thoughts Potter has become entangled with along the way.
The Hero’s Journey Through Adolescence: A Jungian Archetypal Analysis of Harry Potter.
“All was well”: Harry Potter in the medievalist tradition.
Harry Potter and the moral spectrum of care: Using feminist care ethics to analyze morality.
Boarding a train: An exploration of the afterlife in Harry Potter.
Transfiguration maxima!: Harry Potter and the complexities of filmic adaptation.
A flawed father: downplaying fatherhood through the character of James Potter in Harry Potter.
By comparison, the same search for Star Wars yields only 31 dissertations, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer only 22.
When it comes to casting entrancing enchantments on the brightest and the best, it seems like the boy wizard is in a class of his own.
Creative Content Contributors:@daegusoftboys (with beautiful, beautiful moodboards for the series)
Pairing: Hoseok x Reader (oc; female)
Warnings: explicit sex; explicit language
Word Count: 9,746
ONE YEAR AGO
The conference was mandatory, a thing required for your degree and begrudgingly attended by all of your classmates. But you, however, found it to be a welcome reprieve from studying, exams, and your standard reclusive Friday night routine. You were awkward in your black cocktail dress, standing off to the side and nursing your champagne with slow, careful sips you hoped emulated elegance. People of importance moved around the room, intellectual conversations filtering through the air as you glanced from person to person; prayed that, as their wandering eyes found your lonely frame, even if for the briefest of moments, that they did not see you as an imposter.
Text represents sexuality and sex acts in ways importantly different from film: while evoking the bodies of actors associated with particular characters, erotic fanfiction, unlike filmic pornography, does not require actors or any other real people to perform, and so readers don’t have to worry about the objectification or exploitation of those people. And of course, words are cheap to work with and don’t require the same social capital as filmmaking, painting, or symphony composing; consequently, they have been the medium of choice of marginalized storytellers in general and women in particular. Writers can focus on characterization, and they can also create fantastic worlds on a miniscule budget: rocket ships, a cast of thousands, seamless special effects. As Rebecca Tushnet has noted, it takes a big studio to make The Avengers, but it doesn’t take a big studio to write Avengers fanfiction, and fanfiction can take us into a character’s mind and heart as easily as outer space.