Did you read in the GW Hatchet about the Researching Potter workshop presented by librarian Tolonda Henderson and wish you had attended? Read below for some information Tolonda has written about Harry Potter Studies and her tips for getting started researching popular culture.
One of the most basic ways we organize books is by fiction and non-fiction. My detective novels and sci-fi fantasy books live across my apartment from my textbooks from college and graduate school. The few pieces of fiction I have mixed in with the academic books are what most people would call Literature (with a capital L), and beloved books from childhood are kept in an entirely different room. The clarity of these distinctions, however, is slowly being turned on its head for me as I find myself wading deeper and deeper into the world of Harry Potter Studies.
I’ll take a moment to let that sink in.
Yes, I said Harry Potter Studies. On my desk here at work sit seven books for which the New York Times Book Review created a children’s best seller list. I keep the series within arm’s reach so I can refer to them as I research, for example, what the magical properties of photographs and portraits can tell us about our screen-oriented contemporary visual culture. This past February I gave a paper on the library at Hogwarts at a conference with a Harry Potter Studies Section. Next month, I will be giving a paper at the Harry Potter Conference at Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia It is entirely likely that my first scholarly publication will be about the world inhabited by The Boy Who Lived.
Would you like to add some Hogwarts to your academic experience? Here are some tips.
- Use multiple keywords when searching the catalog. If you just search for Harry Potter, you will get screen after screen of the Consortium’s holdings of the actual books and movies. Searching for “harry potter AND international relations” or “harry potter AND psychology” will return a much more focused list of results.
- When searching a specialized database such as MLA International Bibliography, DO NOT limit your results to full text. Doing so would prevent you from learning about chapters in edited volumes. There are many such edited volumes on Harry Potter, but there are also individual chapters in volumes on other topics.
- Pay attention to the date of publication. Scholars started writing about Harry Potter before the series was complete; depending on your topic, this can make a big difference. Articles or book chapters about Hogwarts as a school will be very different if they were written before the introduction of Dolores Umbridge in Order of the Phoenix than if they were written afterwards.
Please feel free to contact me directly. I am considering branching out in Popular Culture Studies to projects on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Hunger Games, or the Divergent series. I would be happy to talk to you about any of my projects or, more importantly, about yours.
Instruction and Reference Librarian
University Libraries welcome back all Mason alums this weekend! Stop into Fenwick Library to view the new exhibit from Special Collections and Archives, “Fairfax Campus Turns Fifty“, and see the way we were when we moved from Bailey’s Crossroads to Fairfax. Take a stroll through the new Fenwick Gallery. Take a look at the New Fenwick Addition progress, too – in person and online! Walk through the Johnson Center and see what’s happening in the newly re-named Gateway Library.
University Libraries has other collections and items of interest for you:
- A History of Mason
- George Mason University Yearbook Collection
- GM View: Video Yearbooks
- As publication of the George Mason University Yearbook ceased in 1988, GM View: The George Mason Video Yearbook was born. GM View has been in continuous publication since 1989
- George Mason University Facilities Planning Documents, 1960-2007
- George Mason University has been expanding for over fifty Years. The documents in this collection come from both physical and born-digital collections of the George Mason University Facilities Planning Department, many of which are held in Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries.
- Madness@Mason: Documenting a Dream Season
- President Lorin Thompson Scrapbooks
- Dr. Thompson served first as Chancellor (1966-1972) of George Mason College of the University of Virginia and then President of George Mason University (1972-1973). Two scrapbooks compiled by Thompson contain newspaper clippings, notes, photographs, invitations and other documents, and ephemora.
Welcome back – and welcome to the Mason Libraries! We’ve changed, too!
Colin James Reagle, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the Volgenau School of Engineering, has been named the Fenwick Fellow for 2014-15.
Reagle’s research project, “The Role of Renewables in George Mason University’s Future Energy Portfolio”, sets out to examine the hurdles the university faces toward reaching the 2025 Virginia renewable energy mandate’s statewide goal of 15 percent and then exceeding the state’s minimum beyond 2025. Read more
Eckles Library Birthday Party
Thursday, September 18th
On September 18, 1987, Eckles Library was dedicated on the Mount Vernon Campus. Stop by Eckles on Thursday from 4-6pm for cake, candy, and prizes to celebrate 27 great years serving students and being awesome! You can learn more about the "jewel of the Mount Vernon Campus" and what makes so many people want to spread the #EcklesLove! Bring your own cup for free coffee all day as a special birthday treat.
Gelman's Special Collections is a great destination for teaching and learning with primary sources. This fall, Assistant Professor of Writing Phil Troutma
Monday, September 22
Gelman, Room 702
The Italian Film SUDestival comes to GW with a panel discussion on comparison between Italian and American cinema industry with American film critics, scholars and exhibit curators. Italian filmmakers Fabio Mollo (The South is Nothing), Gabriele Cecconi (The Seminarian), and Giuseppe Gigliorosso (At Precisely Six O’clock) will talk about their films & experience as emergent directors.
Film screenings will take place at West End Cinema from September 23-25.