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Harry Potter and... Feminism?

Sunday, 20 November 2016
For my third year dissertation, I decided to combine my love for feminist linguistics and contemporary children's books. Inspired by a paper I read by Jane Sunderland, I decided to look at Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban, and analyse it using van Leeuwen's framework on social action. In particular, I looked at Hermione Granger, who has often been referred to as a feminist icon within the Harry Potter series. However, closer inspection of a chapter within the aforementioned novel found that Hermione, instead of taking on the brave, smart and confident role we have come to associate her with, instead took on a rather submissive role within the chapter.

That is not to say, however, that Hermione isn't a feminist icon in her own right. As I point out within the paper, Harry Potter can be read from many different, and contradictory, standpoints. And, with the recent release of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play, it is likely to continue to be the topic of much feminist investigation.

If you're interested in Harry Potter, feminism, or both, you can read my paper, which was published on my university's journal and website respectively, for free here. If you do read it, please let me know what you think in the comments below!