Guest Post: Harry Potter Brings Magic to Clayton State with the “Potter Talks” Series


The following article was written by Dianne Hill, Jordan Knight, Bre’auca Thompson, Keondra Walters, and Evelyn Tran, students in Dr. Margaret Fletcher’s ENGL 1102 Spring 2017 classes as part of the library’s partnership with the university’s PACE initiative. In addition to this article, the students created a series of research guides to accompany the Harry Potter’s World exhibit. Find more information about the Harry Potter’s World exhibit and the PACE initiative following this article.


Harry Potter’s visit to Clayton State brought out students who have been reading the series since middle school as well as professors who also enjoy and search beneath the surface of the complex fantasy series.   The exhibition which was brought by the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health was sponsored by the Clayton State Library under the leadership of Erin Nagel, Assessment & Marketing Librarian. The exhibit invited students and professors as well as the general public to join in exploring Harry Potter’s world and its roots in Renaissance magic, science, and medicine.  One important part of the program was the “Potter Talks” series, in which Clayton State professors and their kin led us deeper into the realms of magic and meaning that inspire Potter fans. Those of us who attended the talks learned that Potter’s world is fun and intriguing, but it is also extremely complex.

Valuable vs. Priceless; The Invisibility Cloak; blank slide

Real picture of an invisibility cloak, from Dr. Pratt-Russell’s talk

The first speaker was Dr. Kathryn Pratt Russell, a professor in the English Department, who spoke on the convergence of Renaissance and contemporary monetary policy in the world of Harry Potter.  In an interview, Dr. Pratt Russell stated that she usually writes on British Romantic literature, mentioning in particular the work of Walter Scott, a British novelist whose work was often concerned with how regular people survived the harsh world of 18th and 19th century British economy.  She pursued the topic of money in Harry Potter’s world because of her interest in how Harry appears to be much more financially privileged that many of his friends.  She also felt that a focus on money would expand the interests covered in the exhibit.  In explaining her research methods, she talked about how she looked up every source dealing with Harry Potter and money.  Although she already had ideas of what she wanted to talk about, she explained that academic writers do extensive research to avoid plagiarism that can occur even though the writer hasn’t seen someone else’s work.  She stated that if someone else had already written on the ideas she had in mind, she wanted to be sure to give them credit.

Dr. Pratt Russell said that she felt the Potter books are mainly for children and teenagers; however, because author J. K. Rowling is so knowledgeable about general folklore and British and Irish legends, the books are educational.  She explained that she saw many influences from periods other than the Renaissance.  The book she found most interesting was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and her favorite movie in the series was the Prisoner of Azhabn, which showed a shift in tone from the other films.  Dr. Pratt Russell concluded her interview by saying that one of the best things for people to take away from the exhibit was the fun of studying history.  Many people will leave the exhibit motivated to learn more about history and to expand their reading both in the fantasy genre and perhaps other areas of British literature also.

Your Potion Mistresses; Antoinette with cartoon image; Mary with cartoon image

Artist rendering of presenters Antoinette and Mary Miller

The series’ second speaker, Dr. Antoinette Miller, psychology professor at Clayton State, demonstrated the multi-generational interest in Harry Potter by bringing her teen-aged daughter Mary with her as a co-presenter.  The topic of their talk was potions and their links to various psychological phenomena.  The mother-daughter duo shared information about a number of potions including the “Amortentia” or love potion; the “Drink of Despair” which includes fear, delirium, and extreme thirst; and the “Felix Felicis,” also known as liquid luck. All potions can bring disaster or bad luck if used incorrectly.  In the world of psychology, Dr. Miller and “Mistress” Mary related these potions and the need for them to humanistic explanations of psychological disorders and self-actualization undermined by unhappy relationships and unfulfilling jobs.

In an interview, Dr. Miller said that one of the most interesting aspects of the study of potions is Wolfsbane which helps in inpulse control when given to a character like Lupin, a werewolf, for  control of his wolf side so that he wouldn’t try to kill people when he was transformed.  She also enjoyed the idea of the placebo effect taking place when Ron imagined that he mistakenly believed a drug had made him more relaxed.  Even though potions are magical in Harry Potter’s world, they bear a resemblance to the real world of psychological needs and cures.

Image of Professor Seth Shaw presenting in front of screen

Professor Shaw talks about Immortality and Memory in Harry Potter’s World

Professor Seth Shaw of the Archival Studies Department discussed “Immortality through Memory.”  He explained that maintaining archives is all about acquiring and preserving records in perpetuity which is a type of immortality.  A major theme in Harry Potter is the quest for immortality, which Professor Shaw compared to using records to create memories that will endure, which is the purpose of an archive.  Our physical bodies are not immortal, but what can endure is the record of what we do and the things we think.   Records are really the closest that we will get to immortality, barring spiritual notions and beliefs in immortality. Based on what we can see and understand in the physical world and the academy, memory is the closest that we can come to physical immortality.  A huge plot point for the Harry Potter series revolves around Voldemort and his attempt for immortality through the horcruxes.  In an interview, Professor Shaw explained that in terms of research, he watched Dr. Kathryn Pratt Russell’s presentation, and talked with her about some of her resources.  She mentioned a book of academic writing on the topic of philosophy in Harry Potter, which she lent him.  He found the book invaluable to his presentation on immortality; also, he gave his interviewers an important lesson on how scholars work together and learn from each other when researching ideas.

In terms of the overall series and J. K. Rowling’s artistic success, Professor Shaw noted that “you can see the progression and complexity that develops in her ability to discuss very complex topics that arose as the Harry Potter series went on.”   He felt that her knowledge of various myths and legends as well as magical practices of old definitely comes through in the series.  He stated that “you can tell as you read her material the things that are consistent with theory and philosophy and previous modes of thought and that she must have been well read in those areas” based on the progress she makes as the series develops.

Image of Dr. Furlong in costume presenting in front of screen

Professor McGonagall (AKA Dr. Furlong) talks about genetics in the wizarding world

The fourth and final speaker in the series was Dr. Michelle Furlong, professor of science.  The title of her presentation was “The Mendelian Genetics of Wizards.”  She defined scientific terms such as phenotype, genotype and alleles, and used interactive techniques to get her audience involved.  In terms of Harry Potter’s world, there are squibs, which are nonmagical children born to magical parents; there are magical children born to or raised by Muggles (nonmagical people).  Hermoine is an example of a magical child born to Muggles, and Harry is a magical child raised by Muggles.  Dr. Furlong explained how environment plays a part in magical development.  Although Harry had magical genes, his magical powers didn’t truly develop until he began school at Hogwarts.  Children born in the same family, such as the Dursley children may have varying degrees of magical power; for examples, Ron’s powers were weak while Ginnie’s were strong.  Dr. Furlong noted that this was an example of incomplete dominance.  Although the magical gene is recessive but usually strong in the offspring of two magical parents, traits can blend so that children in the same family may have differences in magical abilities.

Dr. Furlong explained that evolution and mutations can play a part in the strength of magical traits.  She also explained the existence of regulatory genes that can turn traits on and off.  She concluded her presentation with an explanation of magic that delighted her audience who had been working hard to understand how mutation changes can create the ability to talk to snakes. Most people, and certainly most readers of Happy Potter, believe themselves to be common Muggles.  Actually though, because the magic gene is recessive and because the regulatory gene is recessive, we may not develop magical powers, but the magic, and the potential for magic, exists in all of us. Thus her audience left the final presentation feeling that they too had some connection to the incredible magical universe of Harry Potter and the use of magic to make positive changes in the world.

Writers:  Dianne Hill, Jordan Knight, Bre’auca Thompson Keondra Walters, Evelyn Tran


The Clayton State Library hosted the Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine traveling exhibition in March and April 2017.

Clayton State Library exhibit announcement
Clayton State Library exhibit website
ENGL 1102 PACE students’ research guides (pathfinders)
Potter Talk recordings
National Library of Medicine exhibit website

The Clayton State University PACE initiative, Partnering Academics and Community Engagement, focuses on student engagement through community projects that enhance learning. This Plan is aligned with our institutional Mission of cultivating an “…environment of engaged, experienced-based learning, enriched by active community service, that prepares students of diverse ages and backgrounds to succeed in their lives and careers” and Strategic Plan emphasis on providing students with an “engaged, experienced-based learning, enriched by active community service.”

PACE – Library partnership pt. 3 of 3

This blog post features guest contributors Jordan Knight and Evelyn Tran, students in Dr. Margaret Fletcher’s Fall 2016 ENGL 1101 PACE class. To learn more about PACE, visit: http://clayton.edu/PACE.


In the News: Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle

On the 13th of September, the Clayton State Library Department presented the Freedom Summer film which is one of a five-part film series in the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle program. A large audience of students, professors, and community members were present to view the film, listen to the panel discussion, and participate in the open discussion which followed.

The film focuses on the struggles that African Americans had to endure during Freedom Summer of 1964 in Mississippi.  During this time African Americans were oppressed by Jim Crow laws such as literacy tests and poll taxes which kept them from voting. Civil rights activists like Fannie Lou Hamer and Robert “Bob” Moses as well as civil rights organizations such as the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), began hosting voter registration drives and local sit-ins to protest the unequal exclusion of minorities in the democratic voting process.

If you would like to learn more about the events and people highlighted in the film or the discussion, we suggest the following resources:

http://clayton.libguides.com/CreatedEqual/FreedomSummer (Event covered at Clayton State University).

http://crdl.usg.edu/events/freedom_summer/ (Civil Rights Digital Library – Freedom Summer)

Freedom Schools

Throughout the summer of 1964, Freedom Schools were opened in black communities to provide a richer educational experience than was offered in Mississippi public schools. African American children learned of their own heritage and the heroes such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass who fought for freedom and equal rights.  In addition they improved their basic skills such as reading and writing, which enabled them to better understand the historical movement that was taking place.  These schools allowed them to gain the knowledge and courage to become a force for change in their local communities. Some further readings on Freedom Schools include the following sources:

http://www.educationanddemocracy.org/ED_FSC.html  (Freedom School Curriculum website)

Adickes, S. (2005). Legacy of a Freedom School. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Electronic book available through GALILEO*

Emery, K. (2007). The lessons of Freedom Summer. Race, Poverty and the Environment, 14(2), 20-22. Available via JSTOR* or online open access.

Emery, K., Gold, L.R., and Braselman, S. (2008). Lessons from Freedom Summer: Ordinary people building extraordinary movements. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press. Available via InterLibrary Loan request.

Freedom Summer

From the achievements, the suffering, and the determination of civil rights activists during Freedom Summer, the Civil Rights Movement grew, and ultimately the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 radically changed the South to legally eliminate Jim Crow laws.

If you would like to learn more information about the influence and impact of Freedom Summer (1964), the Clayton State Library suggests the following resources:

Burrows, N., Helton, L.E., Levy, L.B., and McDowell, D.E. (2014). Freedom Summer and its legacies in the classroom. The Southern Quarterly, 52, 155-172.*

Edmonds, M. and Haller, S. (2014). Images from Freedom Summer, 1964. The Southern Quarterly, 52, 51-63.*

McDaniel, H. N. (2016). Growing up civil rights: Youth voices from Mississippi’s Freedom Summer. The Southern Quarterly, 53, 94-107.*

Norman, B. (2014). What are all these bodies doing in the River? Freedom Summer and the cultural imagination. The Southern Quarterly, 52, 173-178.*

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle was made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

For more information about the Created Equal program, please visit: http://createdequal.neh.gov.

We invite you to look forward to the upcoming A Place for All People poster exhibit which will be presented at Clayton State University Library in 2017. This artistic presentation will celebrate the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture by displaying A Place for All People, an exhibit of posters that exhibit the African American story through images of “pain and glory, power and civility, enslavement and freedom.” For more information about the future event, please visit the following link: www.sites.si.edu/exhibitions/exhibits/AfricanAmericanPosters/index.htm and stay tuned to the Clayton State Library blog.

 

In the News: Be a Georgia Voter

Early voting is already under way at your local Board of Elections office and General Election day is November 8, 2016. Find your polling place and review a sample ballot from https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do We recommend the following resources to help you make informed decisions:

In the News: RN Named New NLM Director

On May 11, 2016 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) named Patricia Flatley Brennan RN, PhD, the new director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM).  Dr. Brennan began her service this August and will be publicly sworn in on September 12, 2016.  Dr. Brennan is the first woman and the first nurse to serve as Director of the NLM.  She was previously the Lillian S. Moehlman-Bascom Professor, School of Nursing and College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland was founded in 1836 and is the world’s largest biomedical library.  The NLM not only curates an enormous print collection but also manages PubMed/MEDLINE, a database of over 22 million article citations dating back to 1946. Nearly 6,000 journals are indexed in MEDLINE.

If you would like to know more about Dr. Brennan or find MEDLINE articles in full text, try these resources available from the Clayton State University Library:

Brennan, P.F., & Bakken, S. (2015). Nursing Needs Big Data and Big Data Needs Nursing.  Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 475(5), 477-484. doi:10.1111/jnu.12159

Travis, L., & Brennan, P.F., (1998). Information Science for the Future: An innovative nursing informatics curriculum.  Journal of Nursing Education, 37(4), 162-168. 

MEDLINE with Full Text at EBSCOhost

ProQuest Central Full Text Articles from Peer Reviewed Journals, Newspapers, and Trade Publications

Information available online:

Patricia Brennan, University of Wisconsin-Madison Directory

Wisconsin Institute of Discovery Bio of Dr. Brennan

Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan Appointed Director of the National Library of Medicine announcement from the NLM

In the News: Race, bias, and the police – scholarly resources

Last week, the campus community came together to share and process thoughts and feelings regarding recent events involving police related deaths of African American men and the violent aftermath. The event was sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, Counseling and Psychological Services, Campus Life, and the Department of Psychology.


flickr photo shared by Cayusa under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license

During Monday’s conversation, hosts and audience members discussed ideas and resources that we thought some of you would like to explore further. (Links open in a new window and may require authentication with your SWAN username and password.)

UPDATE: The Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment has published a special issue titled “Police shooting of unarmed African American Males: Implications for the individual, the family, and the community.” It is freely available to the public until August 31, 2016. Click here to access.

Race-based trauma
Also known as post-traumatic slave syndrome, race-based traumatic stress, this concept is based on the theory that racial discrimination can be experienced as psychological trauma. Below are some scholarly resources to explore this theory further. PRO TIP-> To continue the search, try different keyword combinations like “racial trauma” or (post AND slave AND syndrome)

Carter, R. T. (2007). Racism and psychological and emotional injury: Recognizing and assessing race-based traumatic stress. Counseling Psychologist, 35(1), 13-105.

DeGruy, J. (2005). Post-traumatic slave syndrome: America’s legacy of enduring injury and healing. Milwaukie, Oregon: Uptone Press. (Book available through GIL Express)

Hardy, K. V. (2013). Healing the Hidden Wounds of Racial Trauma. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 22(1), 24-28.

Polanco-Roman, L., Danies, A., & Anglin, D. M. (2016). Racial discrimination as race-based trauma, coping strategies, and dissociative symptoms among emerging adults. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.

Wilkins, E., Whiting, J., Watson, M., Russon, J., & Moncrief, A. (2013). Residual effects of slavery: What clinicians need to know. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 35(1), 14-28.

Police training and use of force
Representatives from Campus Safety discussed officer training protocols and techniques they use to prevent violence and combat bias. Here are some reports and examples from the literature about police training and conduct. PRO TIP-> Try using these keywords in your own searches: police, training, “law enforcement officer”, “community policing”, “racial bias”

Crime and Police Conduct (Short report from CQ Researcher explores the question “Is a national crime wave starting?”)

Police Tactics: Has U.S. law enforcement become militarized? (Full report from CQ Researcher)

Police Brutality (Issues & Controversies analysis of the question: Do U.S. police departments use appropriate force when dealing with the public?)

Correll, J., Hudson, S. M., Guillermo, S., & Ma, D. S. (2014). The Police Officer’s Dilemma: A Decade of Research on Racial Bias in the Decision to Shoot. Social & Personality Psychology Compass, 8(5), 201-213.

Hopkins, K. (2015). “Deadly force” revisited: Transparency and accountability for D.C. police use of force. National Lawyers Guild Review, 72(3), 129-160.

Sozer, M. A., & Merlo, A. V. (2013). The impact of community policing on crime rates: does the effect of community policing differ in large and small law enforcement agencies?. Police Practice & Research, 14(6), 506-521.

Implicit Bias
Implicit bias
refers to the automatic and involuntary biases we experience as a result of a lifetime of direct and indirect messaging about ourselves and others. We may not be aware of our own implicit biases, and they may be in direct conflict with our deeply held beliefs. PRO TIP-> Try these keywords for more articles like the ones below: “social bias”, “racial bias”, “implicit attitudes”, “implicit association”, “implicit bias”

Project Implicit – Harvard University Discover your own implicit associations by participating in Project Implicit. Multiple online tests measure the strength of automatic associations between concepts (like black people or women) and value judgments (like “bad” or “clumsy”).

Ito, T. A., Friedman, N. P., Bartholow, B. D., Correll, J., Loersch, C., Altamirano, L. J., & Miyake, A. (2015). Toward a comprehensive understanding of executive cognitive function in implicit racial bias. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108(2), 187-218.

Marks, D. L. (2015). Who, me? Am I guilty of implicit bias?. Judges’ Journal, 54(4), 20-25.

van Nunspeet, F., Ellemers, N., & Derks, B. (2015). Reducing implicit bias: How moral motivation helps people refrain from making ‘automatic’ prejudiced associations. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 1(4), 382-391.

Data and Statistics
Last but not least, we want to share with you some resources on finding reliable data about these issues. We’ve compiled a list of sources for statistics on the Statistical Resources for Assignments! LibGuide. See the Crime & Justice tab for resources related to this topic. Additionally, here are some government reports related to police use of force.

Banks, D., Couzens, L., & Planty, M. (2015). Assessment of coverage in the Arrest-Related Deaths program. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Report No. NCJ 249099). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Hyland, S., Langton, L., & Davis, E. (2015). Police use of nonfatal force, 2002–11. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Report No. NCJ 249216). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

National Institute of Justice. (1999). Use of force by police: Overview of national and local data (Bureau of Justice Statistics Report No. NCJ 176330). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Where to go next
If you would like help or more suggestions for researching any of these or other topics, please consult a librarian. We are accessible via phone, email, instant message, or text. Find us here: http://clayton.libanswers.com/

If you are experiencing any feelings of anxiety, depression, or grief as a result of these events or you would like someone to talk to process any feelings you may have, please contact Counseling and Psychological Services for support or referral.

In the News: Zika Virus

The Zika virus has been in the news for several months, but it’s not a new virus. An article by World Health Organization researchers published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, February 9, 2016, chronicles the spread of Zika from its discovery in Uganda in 1947 to the more recent outbreaks in the Americas.

CDC Zika Spread
Countries and Territories in the Americas with Active Zika Virus Transmission
http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/americas.html

The Zika outbreak in Brazil has been linked to cases of microcephaly in newborns. Although Zika infection is relatively mild in otherwise healthy adults, the link to birth defects and the fact that Brazil is hosting the 2016 summer Olympic Games has health officials understandably concerned. Find out more about Zika with Library resources (may require your Clayton State network username and password):

W.H.O. cites health emergency over fast-spreading zika virus. New York Times (ProQuest)

Molecular evolution of zika virus during its emergence in the 20th century. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (ProQuest)

Flaviviridae. In Fields Virology (6th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 712-746).

Library of Congress names 1st Latino poet laureate- Juan Felipe Herrera

By slowking (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

This week the Library of Congress named Juan Felipe Herrera the U.S. poet laureate for the 2015-16 term. The son of Mexican immigrants, Herrera is the nation’s first Latino in the honor’s nearly 80 year history. The position’s full title is Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and past honorees have led initiatives to increase awareness and appreciation for poetry across the country (“Librarian of Congress Appoints”).

Herrera’s hope for his role is to “take everything I have in me, weave it, merge it with the beauty that is in the Library of Congress, all the resources, the guidance of the staff and departments, and launch it with the heart-shaped dreams of the people” (qtd. in “Librarian of Congress Appoints”). According to the Library of Congress news release, he will begin his duties this fall, kicking things off with a reading of his work on the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15th, at the Coolidge Auditorium.

Herrera has been described as “one of the finest, most innovative, and most challenging contemporary Chicano poets” (Flores 137). He has written for children and adults, and is also an actor and musician. Herrera’s work is inspired by his Chicano heritage and he writes with a mixture of Spanish and English. His early work featured a narrative style with pre-Columbian themes and topics prevalent at the time such as nationalism, cultural pride, and racial discrimination. Later, his work focused on the imagery of the urban landscape and modern Chicano experience (Flores 138;  Rodriguez). At the beginning of the 21st century, Herrera described his evolving style as “more comedy with a dash of mystic sauce” (qtd. in “Juan Felipe Herrera (1948-)” 88).

You can learn more about Juan Felipe Herrera by exploring the library’s digital resources. A search for “Juan Felipe Herrera” on the library’s home page returns over 1,000 results that include biographical sketches, news items, scholarly articles, reviews, and, of course, examples of the poet’s work. You can even find images of the poet leading a workshop for university students in California. Searching in Artemis Literary Sources (just click “A” in the Alphabetical List of Resources on the library’s home page) for “Herrera, Juan Felipe” returns two biographical sketches and two topic overviews that include Herrera’s work. The Flores article from the Dictionary of Literary Biography available through Artemis includes scanned images of handwritten poem drafts and notes.

If you would like to explore this topic further and need a helping hand, please use any of our Ask a Librarian options to contact a librarian and we will work with you to get you the information you need.

Works cited
Flores, Lauro H. “Juan Felipe Herrera (27 December 1948-).” Chicano Writers: Second Series. Ed. Francisco A. Lomeli and Carl R. Shirley. Vol. 122. Detroit: Gale, 1992. 137-145. Dictionary of Literary Biography. Web. 11 June 2015. [Click here to access with Clayton State network credentials]

“Juan Felipe Herrera (1948-).” Something About the Author. Ed. Alan Hedblad. Vol. 127. Detroit: Gale, 2002. 67-71. Something About the Author. Web. 11 June 2015. [Click here to access with Clayton State network credentials]

“Librarian of Congress Appoints Juan Felipe Herrera Poet Laureate.” News from the Library of Congress. Library of Congress, 10 Jun. 2015. Web. 11 Jun. 2015. [Click here to access]

Rodriguez, Andres. “Contemporary Chicano Poetry: The Work Of Michael Sierra, Juan Felipe Herrera And Luis J. Rodriguez.” Bilingual Review 21.3 (1996): 203-218. Academic Search Complete. Web. 11 June 2015. [Click here to access with Clayton State network credentials]