A Focus on The Grown-Up Readership (Professors Included!)
Apr 19, 2003
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on this week’s joint conference of the Popular Culture and American Culture Associations, where the Harry Potter series is one of the top topics of conversation. The article notes that nearly 30 percent of the four Potter books so far were bought for readers 35 and older, and it quotes Lana Whited (who’s also scheduled to speak at Nimbus – 2003 in July) as saying:
The phenomenal commercial success of the Harry Potter books has generated a lot of activity in the academic community… It would be impossible to say how many people are teaching Harry Potter in their college classes, including at the graduate level, but a lot of them are.
The serious discussion we ought to be having about the literary merits of Harry Potter is threatened by the cloud of commercialism encircling the books… There’s always been a reaction on the part of some academics against what is popular – the prejudice that if a work of literature achieves phenomenal popular success that it must not be any good.