It's basically so far a series of notes - I'm examining HP-as-books and the way they deal with the concept of the past, and the holdovers they contain from the notion of the medieval. I'm also going to use that as a launching point to look at Tolkein, GRRM, Lawhead, GGK, Eddings and possibly a few either to just broadly consider the ways in which fantasy-the-genre uses medieval-the-history as source material. Over the weekend, would people mind reading drafts and commenting?
The actual abstract is as follows, but I'll be fiddling with it a bit:
'Hogwarts, a history - conceptions of the past in modern fantasy.'
For all that this enormously successful series has built its popularity and played with typical concepts of the medieval and early modern: witchcraft, wizardry, alchemy and monsters amongst them, this paper seeks to analyse the idea of the ‘past’, and especially the way the heritage of history and the medieval is configured and utilised in Harry Potter. Using both a close textual reading of the books themselves, and a contrast with the distinct genre of modern fantasy, this paper explores the Othering of history in contrast to its great adherence to personal memory as not simply a tool for storytelling, but the bedrock of both self and the world the character exist in, showing that for all its trimmings, Harry Potter can be seen as rejecting concepts of the medieval and fantastic in its guiding framework.