Harry Potter Experts Available


Newswise — SALISBURY, MD---The world of Harry Potter is coming to an end—or is it?

Following this week’s release of the final movie in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Hogwarts fans will have no further books or movies to look forward to. But with the recent unveiling of author J.K. Rowling’s “Pottermore” e-book sales platform, the ongoing success of Universal Studios’ “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” theme park land and millions of “muggle” imitators—from niche bands singing about Hogsmeade to Quidditch teams on college campuses across the nation—is Pottermania really over?

Drs. Ernie Bond of Salisbury University’s Teacher Education Department and Jack Wenke of the English Department are available to speak with reporters on all things Potter.

Bond, a children’s literature specialist, first discovered Potter while visiting England, where he picked up—and became enamored with—an early edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone long before it became the juggernaut that catapulted Rowling to stardom around the world. He has written for The Washington Post on Potter’s ability to blur the line between juvenile and adult fiction.

With SU’s Dr. Nancy Michelson, he also wrote a chapter for the acclaimed anthology Harry Potter’s World, edited by Elizabeth E. Heilman, noting that the Potter series has not only inspired children to read, but also to write:

“Rowling did a great job in connecting with teens and pre-teens in issues those age groups would find appealing” such as “friendship, school bullying, family and community,” all in a milieu of high fantasy. “Harry is an orphan, so he and his friends have to save the world rather than rely on grown-ups to always save them. That can be very appealing to young readers.”

Wenke taught the seminar “Literary Magic: The Seven Harry Potter Novels” in SU’s “Adventures in Ideas” humanities series, focusing on the literary aspect of the books. He sees the books not as seven distinctive stories, but as one epic—and massive—novel. He also is interested in what is lost and gained in the translation between the books and movies.

“On a global scale Rowling has put the fun back into reading,” he said. “The Harry Potter phenomenon has bridged the cultural divide between the popular and the literary. To have a literary work as a cultural milestone is a throwback to another time.”

He has worked with national media, including interviews with USA Today and a guest commentary on Forbes.com.

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