HPEF presents Infinitus 2010, a Harry Potter conference            TEXT  MENU

July 15-18, 2010
Orlando, Florida

Approaching Dawn or the Time for Mourning: The Past, Present, and Future of the Harry Potter Culture
Denver G. Olmstead

Having researched the folklore readers/fans have created from the Harry Potter books, the question came to me: What happens after the last page is read and the final movie shown? Harry Potter has effected millions of people across the globe, and the fans (as Dumbledore's Army) are to be met with their greatest challenge July 2011: Do we hold strong and progress the Harry Potter culture to new heights without the anticipation of new material, or do we begin the steps of mourning?

Approaching Dawn or the Time for Mourning: The Past, Present, and Future of the Harry Potter Culture will present the budding beginnings of Harry Potter fan culture, to the development of readers grasping the story as part of the their personal folk culture and the commercial markets rise to be included, to our present world of Wizard Rock shows, non-profit alliances, touring artifacts, and wizard theme parks. Behind all this, the question: What happens next? Will we tell the story, express our emotions, make meaning from the void? And most important, how do we transition to new relationships that provide light?

Denver G. Olmstead has the tendency to leave her friends with a quizzical look when she talks about Harry Potter. Having read Sorcerer's Stone her senior year of college, she graduated Westminster College with a BA in English in 2001. Working for Barnes & Noble in Murray, Utah, she planned and participated in the midnight release of The Half Blood Prince. Two months later she began attaining her MS degree in Folklore from Utah State University. Her thesis, "From Print to Tradition: Emergent Folklore and Children's Literature," discusses how readers quickly grasped Harry Potter as part of their culture. She has presented at SECTUS 2007, SW/TPC ACA 2008, and was a recent guest lecturer at USU Museum of Anthropology for their program "Mythology and Magic: An Anthropological View of Harry Potter." Her thoughts on children's literature can be found on A Reader's Response at http://denverolmstead.blogspot.com.
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