Marianne Martens (MS '06) will deliver the 2018 Gryphon Lecture on Friday, March 2, at the iSchool. Sponsored annually by The Center for Children's Books (CCB), the lecture features a leading scholar in the field of youth and literature, media, and culture. It is free and open to the campus and public.
In "The Forever Fandom of Harry Potter: Fan Fiction, Festivals, and Charitable Works," Martens will examine "how and why fans contribute their labor in support of Harry Potter, and the ensuing tensions between fans and the corporations who own him."
The world-building within the series lends itself exceptionally well to various fan-based activities, from fan fiction, to festivals, to charitable works, each of which are expanding into areas with adult appeal. Protective of the books and their characters, J.K. Rowling (and related corporate entities) have not always been supportive of such fan activities. Yet arguably, the fans' ongoing immaterial and affective labor (Terranova, 2000) around the series is largely responsible for its success.
Martens is an iSchool research fellow and assistant professor of library and information science at Kent State University. Her research covers the interconnected fields of youth services librarianship and publishing, and the impact of interactive reading technologies. Previously, she was vice president of North-South Books in New York. Martens is the author of Publishers, Readers, and Digital Engagement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).
The lecture, which will be recorded, will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Room 126 of the iSchool. A reception will follow in the East Foyer.