17-30 Segment 1: Pottermania: What we love in the Harry Potter series

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On June 26, 1997, one boy changed the world. That young boy was named Harry Potter, the famous protagonist of the seven-book series by JK Rowling. If you are unfamiliar with either of those names, there is a large chance you are living with the confundus charm. With 160 million copies sold in the U.S. alone and over 400 million copies sold worldwide, Harry Potter has truly taken the world by storm. This week marks the 10 year anniversary of the release of the final installment Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. To celebrate this triumphant anniversary, we spoke with two Harry Potter experts on the impact this series had and continues to have on the world.

You may be familiar with Professor Severus Snape, but did you know Harry Potter professors exist outside the mystical world of the books and novels? Swansea University’s John Granger has specifically dedicated his studies to the magic behind the Harry Potter series. Proclaimed the “Dean of Harry Potter Scholars”, Granger’s fascination with the series led him to dive into the symbolism behind Rowling’s works. Granger says that the entertainment factor of reading the books and watching the movies serves a religious function for everyone in this secular world. Additionally, these books hold a larger symbolism in the way they connect us with the world. Granger says the Potter series is now a shared text of the world, and of western civilization.

As fans who read the books when they were kids, grow up and then read them to their own children,  it is easy to see how Harry Potter has become a favorite for multiple generations.  

 

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Guest:

  • John Granger, PhD candidate at Swansea University; known as “The Dean of Harry Potter Scholars”

  • Jonathan Lethem, New York Times best-selling author and Harry Potter fan

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