Harry Potter Research Paper

On December 20, 2015, the Palace Theatre announced the casting of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, based on a story by Potter creator J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Thorne himself. Set nineteen years in the... more

On December 20, 2015, the Palace Theatre announced the casting of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, based on a story by Potter creator J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Thorne himself. Set nineteen years in the future, the play introduces theatre into the Harry Potter universe, 1 though the Wizarding World of Harry Potter areas of Universal Studios theme parks have long featured live performances. While news from London's theatre district, the West End, rarely instigates an international cause célèbre, this announcement delighted and surprised Harry Potter fans around the world in its casting of Numa Dumezweni as the strong-willed female lead, Hermione Granger. An accomplished British actress born in Swaziland to South African parents, Dumezweni would become the second actress to portray Hermione following Emma Watson's star-making turn in the eight Harry Potter films produced by Warner Bros between 2001 and 2011. Unlike Watson, however, Dumezweni was black. The ensuing controversy provides a productive inroad into examining race in the world of Harry Potter, not only for the questions it raises about the authorship and ownership of popular texts, but also for the specific constraints and attendant cultures that come with media and its afterlife. Adapting a print text for the stage means entering a new medium and, in the process, a new culture of common practices and expectations, both of the artists and of the audience. This chapter explores these nuances to complicate our understanding of not only the decision to cast Dumezweni, but to further understand how race operates across the Harry Potter universe and media culture more broadly. Though I am a White critic, I ground my discussion of this controversy in the commentaries, critiques, and theories developed by scholars of color so that I might challenge received accounts of this evocative moment in Harry Potter fandom. I will examine this case study through three different lenses: the cultural differences between film and theatre as media and industries; the enduring debate over " colorblind casting " (hereafter, nontraditional casting) in the theatre, 2 in particular, but gradually more across media culture; and the increasingly visible tension between authorship and ownership of popular texts that takes places online in what Henry Jenkins has called " convergence culture " —that is, to borrow from the subtitle of his landmark book, " where old and new media collide. " In so doing, I drawn upon and expand our understanding of race and media through a critical examination of the Harry Potter universe, the culture industries, and convergence culture. 1 I use " the Harry Potter universe " to encompass the world of Harry Potter, which includes the seven books, but also the supplemental books, films, online materials in Pottermore, theme park attractions, and other extensions that further develop the world in the spirit of transmedia storytelling, all under the supervision of J. K. Rowling. 2 Though " colorblind casting " is often used across the culture industries to discuss the practice of casting white roles or roles where race is not specified with actors of colors, I will use " nontraditional casting " because not only does it encompass casting practices beyond questions of race, but it conscientiously avoids the casual ableism of the term. I will only use the term hereafter when quoting others.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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     Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a book about a boy named Harry Potter who is a wizard. Its setting is in London, which is where Harry lives. The time element is supposed to be present day, but it is a fiction book.
     Harry has spent all summer waiting to hear news about Lord Voldemort, a evil wizard that Harry saw return the year before, but nobody believes him. One evening after listening to news ,he decides to go for a walk. He then sees his cousin, who he lives with and hates. They then get in a fight and Harry pulls out his wand and at that exact moment two dementors attack them. Dudley thinks Harry is attacking him so he punches Harry. Harry then heroically saves them both by producing a patronus and driving away the dementors.
     They get back home and Harry gets a letter from the Ministry of Magic that says because he used magic he is expelled (Harry is underage and underage wizards aren't supposed to use magic). He is horrified. He can't believe he was expelled. Hogwarts was the only good thing in his life. He then gets another letter that says he isn't expelled but that he has to go to a hearing.
     When Harry's friends here about him being expelled they are speechless. Hermoine just can't understand why he might be expelled when he saved Dudley. She is aghast. Ron is stupefied.
     Harry goes to the hearing and is cleared, but there is a new teacher at Hogwarts that makes Harry's life miserable. Her name is Professor Umbridge. She was one of the people at Harry's hearing that said he was guilty. She is really rude to Harry. She gives him detention and makes him write lines with a quill that scratches whatever you write into your hand and uses your blood as ink. She also takes away Harry's privilege of playing Quidditch ever again. Somehow Harry gets through it all.
     The climax is when Harry goes to the Ministry of Magic to rescue his godfather, Sirius, but Sirius isn't there. There are some people there though. They are the Deatheaters, Lord Voldemort's loyal servants. There is then a big fight where the Deatheaters try to steal a prophecy from Harry. Then Lord Voldemort himself arrives after the prophecy was smashed.

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Harry Potter         Phoenix         Dudley         Fight         Detention         Underage         Wizard         Nobody        

Dumbledore, Hogwart's Schoolmaster and probably the most powerful wizard in history, then arrives. A great battle between Lord Voldemort and Albus Dumbledore then ensues. At the end Lord Voldemort runs off .
     The Ministry of Magic then arrives and believes what Harry and Dumbledore have been saying all along. So the Wizarding community is warned that the Dark Lord is back and to be careful.
      I really liked this book. It is a book I would recommend to my friends. If I could give it a rating between 1 and 10, it would be a 10.

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