Heroism in the Harry Potter Series: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Heroism in the Harry Potter Series

1st Edition

Edited by Katrin Berndt, Lena Steveker

Routledge

248 pages

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pub: 2016-11-23
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Description

Taking up the various conceptions of heroism that are conjured in the Harry Potter series, this collection examines the ways fictional heroism in the twenty-first century challenges the idealized forms of a somewhat simplistic masculinity associated with genres like the epic, romance and classic adventure story. The collection's three sections address broad issues related to genre, Harry Potter's development as the central heroic character and the question of who qualifies as a hero in the Harry Potter series. Among the topics are Harry Potter as both epic and postmodern hero, the series as a modern-day example of psychomachia, the series' indebtedness to the Gothic tradition, Harry's development in the first six film adaptations, Harry Potter and the idea of the English gentleman, Hermione Granger's explicitly female version of heroism, adult role models in Harry Potter, and the complex depictions of heroism exhibited by the series' minor characters. Together, the essays suggest that the Harry Potter novels rely on established generic, moral and popular codes to develop new and genuine ways of expressing what a globalized world has applauded as ethically exemplary models of heroism based on responsibility, courage, humility and kindness.

Reviews

'Heroism in the Harry Potter Series provides a neat cross-section of the conversations to date about Rowling's best-selling series. The lens of heroism, as this collection demonstrates, can offer new perspectives on earlier ways of reading the series - genre, gender, religion, archetype, philosophy, psychology, and postmodernism - and point readers towards new areas of exploration.' Karin E. Westman, Kansas State University, USA 'A worthwhile scholarly collection. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and general readers.' Choice '… there is real stimulation here, in the essays of Katrin Berndt, Julia Boll, Nadine Böhm, Maria Nikolajeva and Lena Steveker. Who would have thought that the Harry Potter novels 'can be read on a certain level as Snape's rather than Harry's story?' Children's Books History Society Newsletter 'It is a tribute to the organizing talent of the editors that the contributions are of consistent quality. All begin with a clear exposition culminating in a thesis that is subsequently worked out carefully and concluded by a final statement. Together, they demonstrate how the use of various points of view results in different findings that, due to the multiple ambiguities of the text, complement rather than contradict each other.' Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik '… this collection provides much food for thought on Harry Potter.' International Research in Children’s Literature Accessible, well-wrought and easy to work with, Heroism in the Harry Potter Series is a valuable asset to scholars from undergraduate to established, to libraries and to fans of the series who are willing to have their love challenged in new ways.' English Studies

About the Editors

Katrin Berndt is assistant professor of English and Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at Bremen University, and Lena Steveker is assistant professor of British Literary and Cultural Studies at Saarland University, Germany.

About the Series

Studies in Childhood, 1700 to the Present

Studies in Childhood, 1700 to the Present

This series recognizes and supports innovative work on the child and on literature for children and adolescents that informs teaching and engages with current and emerging debates in the field. Proposals are welcome for interdisciplinary and comparative studies by humanities scholars working in a variety of fields, including literature; book history, periodicals history, and print culture and the sociology of texts; theater, film, musicology, and performance studies; history, including the history of education; gender studies; art history and visual culture; cultural studies; and religion.

Topics might include, among other possibilities, how concepts and representations of the child have changed in response to adult concerns; postcolonial and transnational perspectives; "domestic imperialism" and the acculturation of the young within and across class and ethnic lines; the commercialization of childhood and children's bodies; views of young people as consumers and/or originators of culture; the child and religious discourse; children's and adolescents' self-representations; and adults' recollections of childhood.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT009000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's Literature