Cultural Politics in Harry Potter: Life, Death and the Politics of Fear is the first book-length analysis of topics, such as death, fear and biopolitics in J.K. Rowling’s work from controversial and interdisciplinary perspectives. This collection brings together recent theoretical and applied cultural studies and focuses on three key areas of inquiry: (1) wizarding biopolitics and intersected discourses; (2) anxiety, death, resilience and trauma; and (3) the politics of fear and postmodern transformations. As such, this book: 

  • provides a comprehensive overview of national and gender discourses, as well as the transiting bodies in-between, in relation to the Harry Potter books series and related multimedia franchise;
  • situates the transformative power of death within the fandom, transmedia and film depictions of the Potterverse and critically deconstructs the processes of subjectivation and legitimation of death and fear;
  • examines the strategies and mechanisms through which cultural and political processes are managed, as well as reminding us how fiction and reality intersect at junctions, such as terrorism, homonationalism, materialism, capitalism, posthumanism and technology.

Exploring precisely what is cultural about wizarding politics, and what is political about culture, this book is key reading for students of contemporary literature, media and culture, as well as anyone with an interest in the fictional universe and wizarding world of Harry Potter.

part Part I|4 pages

Wizarding (Bio)Politics and Intersected Discourses

chapter 1|13 pages

The Chosen One(s)

5Ethnic Election and Contemporary English National Identity in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series
ByChellyce Birch

chapter 3|10 pages

A Magic Manic Pixie Dream Girl?

Luna Lovegood and the Concept of Postfeminism 1
ByMaria Nilson

chapter 4|11 pages

“Like an Old Tale”

Art and Transformation in the Harry Potter Novels and The Winter’s Tale
ByMary Villeponteaux

part Part II|2 pages

Death Culture, Trauma and Anxiety

chapter 5|16 pages

Death Sells

Relatable Death in the Harry Potter Novels
ByBreanna Mroczek

chapter 6|16 pages

The Last Enemy

Harry Potter and Western Anxiety about Death
ByChristina Hitchcock

chapter 7|11 pages

“A Story About How Humans Are Frightened of Death”

Harry Potter, Death and the Cultural Imagination
ByAnna Mackenzie

chapter 8|10 pages

Arthur, Harry and the Late Mother

From T.H. White to J.K. Rowling
ByJustine Breton

chapter 9|14 pages

King’s Cross

Harry Potter and the Transformative Power of Pain and Suffering
ByAnne Frances N. Sangil

chapter 10|11 pages

When Spares Are Spared

Innocent Bystanders and Survivor’s Guilt in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
ByJessica Seymour

chapter 12|16 pages

Death and How to Deal with It in the Harry Potter Series

ByPilar Alderete-Diez

part Part III|2 pages

Trauma, the Politics of Fear and Postmodern Transformations

chapter 13|13 pages

Al-Qa’ida and the Horcruxes

Quests for Immortality by Violent Extremist Organizations and Lord Voldemort
ByNeil D. Shortland, John Anthony Dunne

chapter 15|14 pages

Magic as Technological Utopia?

Unpacking Issues of Interactivity and Infrastructuring in the Potterverse
ByLuigina Ciolfi

chapter 16|13 pages

Flirting with Posthuman Technologies in Harry Potter

Over-consumption of a Good Thing – Technology as Magic
ByMaryann Nguyen