Last year was a big year for the Boy Who Lived as the Harry Potter universe began to expand for the first time since the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”: first with the opening of the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” in July, followed by the release of the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
As great as 2016 was for fans of the series, 2017 has continued to have major landmarks for the wizard.
- June 26, 2017 marked 20 years since J. K. Rowling’s first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” was published.
- Sept. 1, 2017 marked the day that Harry’s second son, Albus Severus Potter boarded the Hogwarts Express and began his wizarding education.
- Rowling has promised a Harry Potter exhibit in Oct. 2017 celebrating the series’ 20th birthday. The exhibit about the history of magic in her fictional world will feature two new books: “Harry Potter – A Journey Through the History of Magic” and “Harry Potter – A History of Magic.”
- And Sept. 8, 2017 marks the day that Lubbock Christian University begins their 8th annual Writing Carnival, which this year will celebrate Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series.
Dr. Ronna Privett, English professor and department chair of humanities, has taught a special topic Harry Potter class every few years since 2012, which was also the first year the Writing Carnival featured the series. Her class focuses on the development and structure of the series and how it affected fantasy publications and genres.
Privett, along with other fans, has avidly read the new material as it has been released, and though opinions were divided on some of the new content, she’s enjoyed seeing a universe she loves grow in new media.
“Harry himself is flawed and relatable,” Privett explains, “and there’s an archetype in the series that the world can go one of several ways. We see that in “The Cursed Child” and in “Fantastic Beasts,” which isn’t really related to Harry Potter but is still broadening the universe. Not every story has a Voldemort, but it does have a relatable reality.”
“I would want to be a Gryffindor, but I think I would actually be a Ravenclaw,” Privett laughed. “And I related more to Hermione in the books.”
Initially, the writing carnival was inspired when Privett and Dr. Jana Anderson attended a conference that suggested creative ways to get students involved in writing. Eight years later, the carnival has grown in size and attendance. The excitement has also grown, leading to more events tied to this year’s carnival than in prior years.
The writing carnival begins a few days early with a Harry Potter move marathon in the SUB on Friday and Saturday. After the movies are finished at 11 p.m. Saturday evening, a glow-in-the-dark Quidditch match and a Horcrux Hunt will take place in the mall.
On Monday, Sept. 11, Dr. Kenneth Hawley will deliver the first of his two-part presentation on the Harry Potter series. The 24-hour reading marathon will begin immediately after chapel on Monday and the Writing Carnival will follow chapel on Tuesday.
The LCU Humanities department is also finding ways to help with hurricane relief in a Harry Potter themed way. In each building on campus, boxes with be set to collect new, packaged socks, an allusion the Harry Potter character, Dobby. The socks will be delivered to South Texas to help those who are suffering and need the "basics.”
Read more about the annual writing carnival on the LCU website.