UK university puts content warning on Harry Potter book

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UK university puts content warning on Harry Potter book

A UK university reportedly put a content warning on a course reading list that features the first Harry Potter book and other young adult novels, saying the texts can lead to “difficult conversations about gender, race, sexuality, class and identity.”

The warning is related to the three books being studied in a literature course at the University of Chester, the Daily Mail reported.

The list of books the warning applies to includes J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” and Philip Pullman’s “Northern Lights.”

“Although we are studying a selection of Young Adult texts on this Module, the nature of the theories we apply to them can lead to some difficult conversations about gender, race, sexuality, class, and identity,” the warning said, according to the outlet.

The warning applied to the first Harry Potter book, among other texts.
The warning applied to the first Harry Potter book, among other texts.
Jonathan Hordle/Shutterstock

“These topics will be treated objectively, critically, and most crucially, with respect. If anyone has any issues with the content, please get in touch with the Module Leader to make them aware.”

The warning comes after Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, faced a wave of criticism after being accused of making transphobic comments.

Dr. Richard Leahy, the university lecturer in charge of the literature course, tweeted in March 2019 that “JK Rowling reveals that he is not the best mate of mine.” His Twitter accounts appears to have been deleted.

A university spokesperson described the warning as a “generic paragraph” and insisted it wasn’t “specific to the three texts.”

“Those studying literature should expect to encounter all the issues, challenges and complexity of humankind. As a University we promote rather than avoid discussion on these,” the spokesperson said.

“We do of course include a generic paragraph on our reading lists to draw attention to the opportunity for individual students to talk with tutors if anything is particularly difficult because of its personal relevance.

Author J.K. Rowling
Author J.K. Rowling has been accused of making transphobic comments.
REUTERS

“Tutors know how to signpost students to specialist support which is occasionally needed but often the tutorial or seminar discussion is sufficient for a student to put an issue in context.”

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