University of São Paulo: Young researchers offer new interpretations for the Harry Potter saga

A generation of Harry Potter readers arrives at the university and, with the organization of a professor and a researcher from USP, some of them were gathered in a collection of texts. Moving away from traditional criticism, ten researchers offer new interpretations and new ways of interacting JK Rowling’s work in a digital book. Entitled Harry Potter: Interpretive Paths , the e-book was released free of charge by Pontes Editores and was financed by the Public Notice of the Pro-Rectory of Culture and University Extension (PRCEU) at USP, with support from the Santander Universities Program and the USP Support Foundation (Fusp).

The publication is organized by Andrea Saad Hossne, professor and researcher at the Department of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH), and Beatriz Masson Francisco, who completed her master’s degree in the same department with the dissertation Readers and Readings from Harry Potter . In the study, Beatriz analyzes how the unfolding of the Harry Potter plot, coming from reading mediation strategies, were responsible for training millions of readers around the world.

Despite the new publication being divided into three parts, the organizers state that “the e-book reader may not be surprised by the almost circularity that this division and the sequence of texts end up printing”. And they add: “If there are not a few who grew up waiting for the publication of the next book, or the next adaptation of one of the books already published, there will be no fewer of those who made it from the screen to the books”.
In the first part, the articles propose the analysis of Harry Potter’s literary text in the light of different currents of criticism and approaches to other areas and knowledge. The identification of the narrator, the construction of the characters, the formation of evil and even a feminist perspective on the characters Hermione and Luna are themes analyzed in this part of the e-book.

Subsequently, the articles explore the universe of readers, the interactions of fans of the saga in Brazil and Belgium and issues related to the author that permeate the seven novels. In this section, one of the authors brings an excerpt of his scientific initiation research in Literary Theory on the reading of fantasy literature as a drug by depressed readers, focusing on the ways in which these readers interact with the work.

The last section of the book, entitled Beyond the text , contemplates another aspect of the interaction between the series written by JK Rowling and external instances, focusing on the cinematographic adaptations of the work.

Free online course analyzes aspects of the work

The e-book organizers also promoted last year a university extension course that was taught by the FFLCH and is open to the public on the college’s YouTube channel . Classes are divided into five parts: The narrative blocks and the passage of time; Aspects of the novel in Harry Potter; Aspects of the Novel Formation in Harry Potter ; Harry, Ron and Hermione: Friendship and the Fraternal Role ; and The magical universe of Harry Potter on the big screen .

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