There has been a lot of talk this week in academic circles and specifically in the children's literature world about a conference that took place last week at St. Andrews University. The Guardian put out an article, you can read it here, which tried to string out the pros and cons to an academic conference devoted to the Harry Potter book series. The article seemed to lean towards the side of academics like John Mullan, a professor of English at University College London,who obviously believe that children's literature is not worthy of academic study, since it is "not for grownups". This article was followed up with a response at the UK's Huffington Post culture blog with an article written by B.J. Epstein, a professor of literature and translation at East Anglia University and who has devoted much time to the study of children's literature, who pointed out the many benefits and worthwhile reasons that children's literature should be studied in an academic setting, here's that article, definitely work reading. Professor Epstein states the following in her article:
"Why is work for children not an appropriate subject for academic study? One could turn this question around and ask how anything could possibly be more important than what the next generation reads and is taught.