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Campus Currents May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Harry Potter's World

Millions of children and adults have long been under the spell of J.K. Rowling’s magical world of wizardry. Harry Potter fans will not want to miss the U.S. National Library of Medicine exhibit, “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine,” which will be on display at UC San Diego’s Geisel Library from May 6 through June 16.

The exhibit, which includes materials from the National Library of Medicine’s collections, sheds light on the Renaissance traditions—such as alchemy, herbology, astrology and natural philosophy—featured in the Harry Potter books. The magic depicted in the Harry Potter canon has its roots in the Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of modern science and medicine. Incorporating the work of 15th- and 16th-century thinkers—such as Francis Bacon and Christopher Marlowe—the exhibit also examines significant ethical topics including the quest for knowledge, the effects of prejudice and the responsibility that comes with power. Other Potteresque topics explored in the exhibit include magical and fantastic beasts, monsters, potions and the role all have played in the history of science and the making of modern medicine.

For more information, visit: libraries.ucsd.edu

—Dolores Davies