The great thing about an independent study is that I get to focus on what most interests me about a given topic, and time and time again it seems that I am finding myself drawn to Harry Potter. I’ve often joked that given six degrees I can connect anything to the series thematically, and my academic studies are no exception. The Harry Potter phenomenon has influenced our world, particularly my world, in so many ways that I cannot possibly imagine a life without its existence. My identity has been inexorably shaped by Harry Potter and for a long time I have looked at the world through Harry Potter shaped lenses. Given that I see Harry Potter in nearly everything, it should come as no surprise that writing about Harry Potter is a natural thing for me to do.
The funny thing about this project, however, was that originally I didn’t set out to write about Harry Potter at all. To explain, when I was deciding what to write about for my final project, all I knew at the outset was that I wanted to write about Young Adult novels, and readership among kids and teens. I did some preliminary research through the university library’s website and poked around a few databases before discussing things with one of the reference librarians, who gave me some pointers, including that I should look into key words having to do with Harry Potter. I had been reluctant to do so, because for all that I do like to write about Harry Potter I hadn’t wanted it to be my sole focus here. However, as I did more research into what there was to find, I kept getting pointed in the direction of the beloved boy-who-lived.
This is all to say, that I have refined my paper topic somewhat, and so at this point I have decided that I would like to write about how online engagement with Harry Potter has permeated into later genealogies of more diverse texts. Basically, I want to investigate how Harry Potter has been an instigator and a cultural influence on later YA books and how the themes of Harry Potter have lent themselves to spurring creativity in other writers and readers. This, however, is a super ambitious project and honestly not one that I am sure that I will be able to complete in only the next four weeks before the semester ends, so part of me is at a loss as to whether I should shelve it and come up with something less complex, while another part of me insists that I am not a quitter. There is plenty of literature out there about the Harry Potter phenomenon and the effects it’s had on the the world, but none on exactly what I am trying to examine which is both great and makes my job about 10 times harder. That’s the nature of research, I suppose. 🤷🏽♀️ That said, if anyone wants to chime in with advice, I’ve got comments enabled for a reason. 😘
Wish me luck!
P.S. For those of you who were expecting this post to be about Crimes of Grindelwald, my feelings are way to complicated for my end of semester brain to express via a single blog post, so we’ll revisit that in future weeks, probably not until December.
P.P.S. For those of you wondering about the picture… it has nothing to do with anything, I just thought that this particular stock photo was prettier than the others. 😊