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What "Counts" as Harry Potter Canon?
Cassie Brummitt
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Hi Lauren. Interesting video and an interesting topic - I completely understand why it causes endless debates!

I agree that arguments about what is and isn’t canon can be reductive and exclusionary, so I’m very interested by your more diverse categories. You mentioned on my post about JKR that you’ve also interrogated this five-part split in more detail, so I was wondering if you could talk a bit about how you selected certain texts/products for your categories, and whether you think the categories are hard-and-fast or perhaps more fluid?

I was thinking that Fantastic Beasts, for instance, is a difficult phenomenon to assess, because while it’s technically an adaptation of the Comic Relief book, its narrative is wholly original. Cursed Child is another problematic text because it does knowingly intersect with fandom but is co-created by Rowling. I think the transmedial nature of Harry Potter - and its numerous interwoven texts/media - resists neat categorisation. That’s something that should be celebrated, and is part of what makes Harry Potter so important to study, but it’s no wonder the canon debate continues to rage.

Cassie Brummitt
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Hi Kati. I enjoyed this post and your outlines of different corollaries between Nazi Germany and the Harry Potter narrative. The images you included reminded me of the ways that the HP movies themselves play with Nazi iconography, and whether you’ve ever looked into that? (The transformation of the Ministry of Magic in Deathly Hallows in particular is something I find very interesting.) This post has also reminded me that Grindelwald - defeated by Dumbledore in 1945 - is an overt reference to Nazism and it will be exciting to see how this builds in the Fantastic Beasts franchise!

Julie Escurignan

Enlightening analysis! I’ve never thought about HP food per se, but it totally makes sense! I am researching Game of Thrones’ fans’ experience, and I believe it is going to face similar issues: Game of Thrones’ wines are going out soon, and the focus is on the fans’ experience (rather, on expanding the franchise and getting fans to purchase its merchandizing) with no word on health-related issues. These two examples very much relate to Roland Barthes’ Myth and prove him still contemporary!

What "Counts" as Harry Potter Canon?
Julie Escurignan

Congratulations, this is a very interesting post! I really like the five-part division of the HP canon you all came to! As a researcher on Game of Thrones’ fandom, I am similarly trying to analyze the GOT franchise, and I absolutely love the metaphor of the filing cabinet: it is exactly the kind of spirit that is needed to include as much as possible into a franchise’s universe. I carefully looked at what was in each of the 5 parts you describe and I had a question: where do you put the merchandizing? Not the fan-made one, which falls into the fanon of course, but the official HP and licensed one? Is it para-canon or do you rule it out entirely of the HP canon?

Screenshot of MoveOn.org's Harry Potter ad
Julie Escurignan

Very interesting analysis! Congrats on a great contribution, Ashley!

Anna Froula

Great post!!!

I’m really curious about where these kinds of narratives are going to go in a Trump administration, especially the “passive threat” version.

What "Counts" as Harry Potter Canon?
Lauren Camacci

Thanks, Ashley. It just felt so WRONG to consider the JKR tweets and other such information to be on the exact same level as the original seven books, and this seemed like a thorough and democratic solution!

JK Rowling's autograph
Lauren Camacci

Thanks for writing, Cassie. These questions have factored in heavily in the SWPACA discussions, andI also saw some great papers on this topic at the HPC@CHC in October too. In my longer paper on the five-part canon split, I engage the heck out of Barthes, because how do we reconcile the “death of the author” in the era of Twitter? Let’s keep prodding the conversation along by challenging the monolithic definition of “canon” and finding space for this new form of authorship!

Screenshot of MoveOn.org's Harry Potter ad
Amanda Firestone

I think the observations here are spot on. It’s important to consider how fans can be mobilized to action given shared values or goals. I think the two prong approach you use here is really smart, and there’s significant support for aligning these two figures further given what has come to bear post-election. My friend and colleague, Leisa Clark, and I are collecting chapters for a book about Harry Potter 2.0 post-canon books/movies. I would love for you to submit a proposal about this subject. If you’re interested, please send me an email at: ConvergencePotter@gmail.com.

JK Rowling's autograph
Amanda Firestone

This is really important to discuss and consider. Rowling, as author, receives both praise and censure for her continued persistence in shaping the Potterverse. Where many authors seek to move on to other projects, Rowling appears to wallow in her wizarding world. My friend and colleague, Leisa Clark, and I are collecting chapters for a book about Potter 2.0 post-canon books/films. I would love for you to submit a proposal about Rowling’s continued efforts to publicly expand the universe. If you’re interested, please contact me at: ConvergencePotter@gmail.com.