Is it morally okay to still write my dissertation on Harry Potter?

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I'm in the last year of my literature degree and I've got to pick a dissertation topic and I kind of want to do it on Harry Potter but I'm a little bit on the fence about it. I'll either focus solely on it or just generally include it in my dissertation but I now feel bad about it due to JK Rowling being dumb (I in no way agree with anything she is saying). It is just one of my favourite book series (In childrens literature) and would maybe like to include it due to its influence on me. I understand that many do not like these books but i would appreciate some constructive advice?
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madmirrors
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Do it please 🤣 I think the majority love Harry Potter!
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(Original post by madmirrors)
Do it please 🤣 I think the majority love Harry Potter!
You think so? i feel guilty due to JK Rowling being controversial
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(Original post by word_boxed)
You think so? i feel guilty due to JK Rowling being controversial
of course. I'd have a word with your supervisor to make an informed decision. I think there's definitely techniques to analyse in there. Which writer isn't controversial?
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(Original post by madmirrors)
of course. I'd have a word with your supervisor to make an informed decision. I think there's definitely techniques to analyse in there. Which writer isn't controversial?
I have and he honestly doesn't care and would honestly let us do anything we wanted as long as it was some form of literature haha. Yeah i guess they are all a little controversial
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madmirrors
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(Original post by word_boxed)
I have and he honestly doesn't care and would honestly let us do anything we wanted as long as it was some form of literature haha. Yeah i guess they are all a little controversial
There you go!
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(Original post by madmirrors)
There you go!
thanks for your advice
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killjoytrxs
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(Original post by word_boxed)
I'm in the last year of my literature degree and I've got to pick a dissertation topic and I kind of want to do it on Harry Potter but I'm a little bit on the fence about it. I'll either focus solely on it or just generally include it in my dissertation but I now feel bad about it due to JK Rowling being dumb (I in no way agree with anything she is saying). It is just one of my favourite book series (In childrens literature) and would maybe like to include it due to its influence on me. I understand that many do not like these books but i would appreciate some constructive advice?
So long as you're writing about the book series and not singing the praises of the author, you should be just fine.
Objectively, the books themselves are great - Rowling didn't allow her damaging views to seep in, thank goodness - and people are constantly writing about the works of authors with pretty unpleasant ideas about how the world should work (see: Tolkien, Lovecraft, Kipling and probably many more), so it's unlikely that people would immediately assume you agreed with her opinions.

Probably worth discussing, but I doubt anyone would censure you for it!
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madmirrors
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(Original post by word_boxed)
thanks for your advice
No problem!
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Kerzen
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(Original post by word_boxed)
I'm in the last year of my literature degree and I've got to pick a dissertation topic and I kind of want to do it on Harry Potter but I'm a little bit on the fence about it. I'll either focus solely on it or just generally include it in my dissertation but I now feel bad about it due to JK Rowling being dumb (I in no way agree with anything she is saying). It is just one of my favourite book series (In childrens literature) and would maybe like to include it due to its influence on me. I understand that many do not like these books but i would appreciate some constructive advice?
You need to separate your academic self from the part of you which has opinions on statements made by J K Rowling; you need to be able to write objectively.

There are many figures in literature with facets which, viewed through the modern gaze, might not be considered acceptable; you could consider Shakespeare as one, look at his portrayal of Shylock, for instance. This does not mean that people need to stop writing on Shakespeare, imagine the loss to the study of English literature if this were to happen.

As a side issue, your judgment on J K Rowling seems somewhat summary; it would probably be useful for you to read more widely on what she has said and to perhaps gain some insights into the position she takes.
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(Original post by killjoytrxs)
So long as you're writing about the book series and not singing the praises of the author, you should be just fine.
Objectively, the books themselves are great - Rowling didn't allow her damaging views to seep in, thank goodness - and people are constantly writing about the works of authors with pretty unpleasant ideas about how the world should work (see: Tolkien, Lovecraft, Kipling and probably many more), so it's unlikely that people would immediately assume you agreed with her opinions.

Probably worth discussing, but I doubt anyone would censure you for it!
no definitely not praising her, just analysing, maybe even criticising the books. I also have the dilemma of if i should solely focus on them or other books as well, if i focus on both harry potter and other books i will be giving myself a bigger work load and i do have a word limit but the guilt really gets mee, which makes me feel like i should focus on other things as well
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(Original post by Kerzen)
You need to separate your academic self from the part of you which has opinions on statements made by J K Rowling; you need to be able to write objectively.

There are many figures in literature with facets which, viewed through the modern gaze, might not be considered acceptable; you could consider Shakespeare as one, look at his portrayal of Shylock, for instance. This does not mean that people need to stop writing on Shakespeare, imagine the loss to the study of English literature if this were to happen.

As a side issue, your judgment on J K Rowling seems somewhat summary; it would probably be useful for you to read more widely on what she has said and to perhaps gain some insights into the position she takes.
Yeah i feel like i definitely can, and my dissertation wouldn't be praising the books, it would be a subjective look at different aspects of it, and a part of me is just scared of what others will think of me for doing it on that (which is terrible i know).

I have read into it and i do understand where her thought process is coming from, but not her end opinions and statements she has made that will hurt the minorities of society that she is talking about to her large and influential audience.
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Celtic Conjurer
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It's definitely not Ron to write a dissertation on HP. Just make sure you charm your supervisor so he's sure you're Sirius about this.
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(Original post by Celtic Conjurer)
It's definitely not Ron to write a dissertation on HP. Just make sure you charm your supervisor so he's sure you're Sirius about this.
hahah
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Kerzen
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(Original post by word_boxed)
Yeah i feel like i definitely can, and my dissertation wouldn't be praising the books, it would be a subjective look at different aspects of it, and a part of me is just scared of what others will think of me for doing it on that (which is terrible i know).
Academics don't judge each other on the subject matter they each write about.

I'm a linguist, my principal language is German and I've occasionally done units in Modern German History. For the Third Reich, I have read a fair few books and academic papers, some of which have referred to truly horrific things, but I've never inferred anything about the academics who wrote those books and papers because of the subject matter.
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(Original post by Kerzen)
Academics don't judge each other on the subject matter they each write about.

I'm a linguist, my principal language is German and I've occasionally done units in Modern German History. For the Third Reich, I have read a fair few books and academic papers, some of which have referred to truly horrific things, but I've never inferred anything about the academics who wrote those books and papers because of the subject matter.
Thanks for the advice, you're totally right, i guess so many writers have some horrible views and if i just focus on the books and not the writer then i'll be fine. There is no escaping the effect that Harry Potter has had on certain generations so i guess me writing about it is just somewhat an extension of that
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Kerzen
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One thing I would suggest to you is that you could usefully start by dipping into the papers, journal articles etc on Harry Potter which are available on JSTOR, so that you can draw on the academic perspective.
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PhoenixFortune
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Separating the art from the artist is a valid stance in academic writing, so I don't see a problem with it. If we were only allowed to write about works written by people who we wholeheartedly agreed with, nothing would ever get written!
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(Original post by Kerzen)
One thing I would suggest to you is that you could usefully start by dipping into the papers, journal articles etc on Harry Potter which are available on JSTOR, so that you can draw on the academic perspective.
okay thanks!
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
Separating the art from the artist is a valid stance in academic writing, so I don't see a problem with it. If we were only allowed to write about works written by people who we wholeheartedly agreed with, nothing would ever get written!
yeah fair, thanks
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