The publication of the Harry Potter series in the United States coincided with the coming-of-age of its main target audience, the millennial generation. Harry Potter and the Myth of Millennials: Identity, Reception, and Politics takes an interdisciplinary view of Harry Potter, as a series and a phenomenon, to uncover how the appeal of Harry became a lifestyle, a moral compass, and a guiding light in an era fraught with turbulence and disharmony. As a new phenomenon at the time, Harry Potter provided comfort through the heroism of the main characters, showing that perseverance and “constant vigilance,” to quote one of the professors, could overcome the darkest of times. Hobbs argues that Harry Potter prepared an entire generation for the chaotic present marked by the 2016 Election and 2020 Pandemic by shaping the political attitudes of its readers, many of whom were developing their political identities alongside Harry. Her analysis focuses on both the novels themselves and the ways in which fans connected globally through the Internet to discuss the books, commiserate about the events swirling around them, and answer calls to action through Harry Potter-inspired activism. In short, Harry Potter and the Myth of Millennials examines how Harry Potter became a generation's defining mythology of love, unity, and transformation.
Priscilla Hobbs is senior associate dean at Southern New Hampshire University.
Chapter 1: The Mythology of the Boy Wizard
Chapter 2: Toward a New Heroic
Chapter 3: The Media of the Boy Wizard
Chapter 4: Lessons Learned from the Boy Wizard
Chapter 5: Wizarding Decrees and the Defense Against the Dark Arts
Chapter 6: Harry Potter and Social Activism
Chapter 7: The Problem of J.K. Rowling