Harry Potter and the Cult of Celebrity

November 28, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
Booth Library, Witters Conference Room 4440
Steve Brantley

This program is part of Booth Library’s fall exhibit and program series, “Twenty Years of Harry Potter: Celebrating a Phenomenon.” The exhibit will be on display at the library from Sept. 14 through Dec. 31, 2017.

For more information on this exhibit and program series, click here.

Harry Potter and the Cult of Celebrity

Presented by Lola Burnham, associate professor of journalism

“Celebrity is as celebrity does,” Gilderoy Lockhart tells Harry Potter when cautioning him about seeking too much attention. Harry, of course, is doing no such thing, but the obtuse Lockhart cannot recognize that. Whether characters in the Harry Potter series seek fame or eschew it and how they handle fame when it comes their way reveals a lot about their, well, character. What do Harry, Ron, Hermione, Viktor Krum and others have to teach us about fame? What can we learn from the infamous Gilderoy Lockhart and Rita Skeeter? This program will explore those questions and others, including what Dumbledore had to say about the perils of fame for “The Boy Who Lived.”

Lola Burnham is a professor in Eastern’s Journalism Department, interim director of Student Publications, and editorial adviser to The Daily Eastern News. One of her research areas is media ethics, and she enjoys using the Harry Potter books to connect to her research topics. She has many fond memories of taking her children to Harry Potter book release parties. She is also still wondering why her letter from Hogwarts never arrived and suspects that nargles are to blame.

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