Hermione Granger Saves the World

Essays on the Feminist Heroine of Hogwarts

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About the Book

The new essays in this book make two central claims. First, for some people, the word “feminist” has been either poorly defined or even demonized. Hermione Granger, of the Harry Potter series, serves as an outstanding example of what modern young feminism looks like: activist, powerful and full of agency, yet feminine, romantic and stylish—a new kind of feminism for a new kind of girl. The second claim the essays make is that our young, emergent feminist Hermione Granger is a pivotal character upon whom the entire series rests—not Harry Potter himself (or, at least, not Harry Potter solely). It is Hermione who solves every difficult puzzle, performs every difficult spell, and to whom her two male companions look for guidance and advice. On several occasions throughout the series, Hermione literally saves the world through her actions. This is an outstanding model for young women (and for young men as well) who are confused about how feminism manifests and operates in 2012.

About the Author(s)

Christopher E. Bell is an associate professor of media studies in the department of communication at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, specializing in the study of the ways in which race, class and gender intersect in different forms of children’s media. He is a TED speaker, a diversity and inclusiveness consultant for Pixar Animation Studios, a 2017 David Letterman Award winning media scholar and the 2017 Denver Comic Con Popular Culture Educator of the Year.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Christopher E. Bell

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7137-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0005-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi
Introduction

Hermione: An Introduction
CHRISTOPHER E. BELL with JULIE ALEXANDER      1

The Filmic Heroine
JULIE ALEXANDER      16
“I’m Hoping to Do Some Good in the World”: Hermione Granger and Feminist Ethics
ATJE GERCAMA      34
The Muggle Hunt
ELIZABETH DE LA TORRE      52

Hermione as Woman
Unstoppable Force: Maternal Power and Feminism
ALEXANDRA HIDALGO      66
Alohomora! Unlocking Hermione’s Feminism
SARAH MARGARET KNIESLER      87

Hermione as Scholar
“Books! And Cleverness!”: Hermione’s Wits
TARA FOSTER      105
How to Do Things with Magic Words: The Scandal of the Spell-Casting Body
LI CORNFELD      125

Hermione as Warrior
Hermione Granger Goes to War: A Feminist Reflection on Girls in Conflict
HELEN BERENTS      142
Hermione Granger: Insufferable Know-It-All or Superhero?
CHRISTINE KLINGBIEL      163

Hermione as Activist
From Teenage Witch to Social Activist: Hermione Granger as Female Locus
WILLIAM V. THOMPSON      181
Is Hermione Granger the Real Chosen One?
TODD S. WATERS      198

About the Contributors      219
Index      221

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Fun quirky, and intellectually stimulating…an easy read with well defined terms, accessible language, and plenty of topics to engage students”—Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts
  • “Examines the idea of modern-day feminism through the lens of popular heroine Hermione Granger…seeks to reclaim feminism in the face of modern-day demonization”—Reference & Research Book News.