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Children's literature expert to speak at Sectus 2007

Sectus 2007 announces that Colin Manlove, renowned academic and children's literature expert, has signed on as one of their featured speakers.

Colin Manlove is the author of twelve books of literary criticism. While focusing primarily on the fantasy genre, he has also written books on Shakespeare, seventeenth and eighteenth century literature, and a wide range of essays and articles. Before his retirement in 1993, he was a Reader in English literature at the University of Edinburgh.

He has graciously agreed to come and talk to our attendees about Harry Potter as a part of the greater scheme of children's fantasy literature, particularly as it compares to C.S. Lewis's Narnia series. He'll also discuss topics such as certain vs. uncertain identity, and his own ideas about how the series will be wrapped up in the final book.

"English children's fantasy has its sources in the particularly early and rapid English industrial revolution, and in the Romantic glorification of the imagination and the child. The ideas of the lost pastoral and of lost childhood fuse into one chord of longing for lost innocence, which expresses itself through worlds that rewrite actuality."

"Were we to read symbolically, (Hogwarts) might become a single fallen soul... assaulted by the devil but upheld by choice and grace." "(Voldemort) is in a sense that side of Harry himself that is least sure of his identity and his hold on life in a world without family or...security." "But he is also the alien, the monster Grendel outside the feast hall... the culmination of the portrayals of malice and threat to identity in earlier 1990's fantasy..."

-- from From Alice to Harry Potter: Children's Fantasy in England by Colin Manlove.

From Alice to Harry Potter was selected by the editors of CHOICE as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2003.

Sectus 2007 offers attendees the opportunity to celebrate the tenth anniversary of J. K. Rowling's series at a major fandom conference to be held in the heart of London. Sectus runs from 19th to 22nd July and will encompass a variety of events from academic papers, discussions and debates to themed sports and games. It is run on a not-for-profit basis, and any surplus from the event will go directly to Book Aid International. Sectus 2007


Published November 26, 2006

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