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Abstract

Kara Lynn Andersen, in her paper "Harry Potter and the Susceptible Child Audience," argues for a rethinking of assumptions of child audiences as passive readers and viewers through an analysis of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Andersen argues that instead of categorizing children as passive and homogenous subjects of analysis, they should instead be incorporated as participants in the discourse about children's books and films. Although frequently figured as especially susceptible to the affects of advertising and other media, young Harry Potter fans are particularly visible as not only consumers of the texts, but creators of new texts. Using work done on Harry Potter in reception studies, film spectatorship, literary criticism, and internet publications, Andersen dissects ideas of passivity and activity in child readers and viewers.

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