Mercer explores 'Harry Potter' in exhibits, lectures

The wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter has come to Mercer. For starters to get you of your muggle bubble are a series of lectures that discuss topics from societal issues to werewolves and even a sprinkle of sparkling Twilight gets thrown into the cauldron. For a schedule of the events just visit the Jack Tarver Library and check out the Harry Potter exhibit. Unless you’ve been charmed by see nothing spell you can not miss it because your first clue will be the figure of Harry Potter aiming a wand at you. In the juvenile section you’ll find the rest of the exhibit which features figures a Snow Owl and a Great Horned Owl among other things.

Besides the exhibit and the lectures there is also a chance to eat Harry Potter food. The event is called Harry’s Hot Plates on October 20th with the place to be determined. There is also a chance to live out your wizarding fantasies via the Harry Potter costume contest on Novermber 4th at 7 p.m with more information for both events to be found at the exhibit.

You are encouraged to attend the lectures. The last one I went to had chocolate dogs, Hagrid and the biggest dog I had ever seen. The lecture was given by Professor Richardson who also revealed to the audience that he was also Albus Dumbledores’ cousin Aberforth Dumbledore. Who would have thunk it?

I had a chance to ask the Professor a few questions.

What is your involvement with the Tarver Library’s Harry Potter display?

I gave the opening presentation in a series of talks and panels that were scheduled to accompany the library display.

What is it about Harry Potter that inspired you to dedicate a whole class to it?

I find them intriguing in any number of ways.  First, I came to them with my children and recognized the power the books had to inspire children to read.  Second, although I routinely teach literary masterpieces of several nations and times, I am also interested in the creation and evolution of cultural values attached to non-canonical forms of literature, such as fantasy.  Third, the books let me reach students that I would not otherwise encounter with an enjoyable text that students are eager to read and discuss.  Fourth, I have the opportunity to encourage students to read more carefully and deeply by showing them the rewards that attend the effort in a series of books they already enjoy.  Fifth, they are fun to read.

At the end of the first lecture we got an opportunity to meet Hagrid and his pet. Will we get another chance to meet Hagrid again and his massive dog?

I do not know.