Letters to 2015: January

I have seen this project at imjustthisawesome and I think this is a great idea. I think I will participate in this.

I don’t know if I can do it every month, especially February and March since I have to write my Bachelor Thesis. But I will just see. Here is the first letter:

Dear January,

You are already over half-way through, and it has been calm with you, maybe even a little bit too boring :’D When it comes to reading, it was interesting – until now. I am currently reading quite a boring book for uni, that’s why. In general, January started a bit calm, but now it is getting more and more stressful. I have to hand in my Bachelor thesis title by the end of January. I always get too excited when I think about it. My heart starts racing, because I am not quite sure if it will work out. I have decided now that I want to write about Harry Potter. There are quite a lot subjects to write it about, and also many many books as I have found out. I have now narrowed my outline down to these topics:

1. Racism and Nazism: How Muggles, Squibs and Creatures are treated (Creatures as a display of human fear in the Harry Potter series; how they represent society)

Something like that. I still have to talk to my Prof about that. I will do that coming week. I  hope he will approve.

This is basically my main part of January I guess, including a lot of book-buying and eventually trying to go to the movies and watch many of the new films, especially Oscar nominated films I want to watch.

If I won’t make it to write the letters for February, I want to say that I want to procede well with my thesis, and also move a little bit maybe. Sitting all day might not be quite too healthy neither. This is why I want to continue giving lessons 3 times a week, so that I will get to the air a little bit.

And I should also repair my laptop before starting to write. There are some software problems I think. I have to work that out somehow.

Puuhhh, when I think about the following two months, it seems like a big pain in the ass. Sorry to say that. At least, I get to write about Harry Potter, so maybe, it will even be fun to do so.

I hope to have some nice time left with you January.

Love

M

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13 thoughts on “Letters to 2015: January

  1. Oh, it’s really nice you’re also doing this!

    I’m sure your thesis will turn out to be just fine. Going by the title, I think I’d probably even be interested in reading it. I love Harry Potter and it looks like your thesis would really take quite a different approach to that world than the things I’ve read about it so far!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your topic for your thesis sounds compelling. I’m also interested in reading it, even though my knowledge is very limited when it comes to HP (as you know!). Could you perhaps elaborate on how there are signs of Nazism in the book series? Is there a certain ascendancy noticeable that suggests a particular social hierarchy? Do you know which theoretical framework (sociological, anthropological, philosophical) you will use to analyze the writings of Rowling? Since the lines between racism and fascism (perhaps a better term, just a suggestion) are quite blurry, how will you differentiate between those ideologies? I’m already getting worked up reading your work! As mentioned already, I would love to help you out somehow if you need help. You won’t be around for the summer semester, but you can always contact me!

    By the way, we have a class here at Tufts this spring semester that focuses on “Growing Up at Hogwarts”. Based on YA Literature, child development of tweens and teens is analyzed. A psychological approach is the basis and discusses various works. Sounded very interesting, and I had to think of you.

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    1. Why do they always have such cool literature seminars in the US? It is always about more up-to-date topics, and not old and boring classics like we have in Germany, or rather in Tübingen. It pisses me off a little bit. The topic of literature is already quite unpopular, and then they have to deal with old stuff that interests almost nobody.
      Your questions are really helping me to create a guideline. Thanks for that. Especially that one with the framework, since I am not sure which I want to use. Perhaps it will be a mixture between all of them. There are a lot of signs of Nazism and Fascism, also Racism. For example the ideology of Voldemort and the Death Eaters reminds of Hitler and the Nazis. With halfbloods and purebloods. It is similar to the selection of ‘Arier’. The term ‘Mudblood’ (‘Schlammblut’) is a very offending word for muggle-borns, and I always had to think about the N-word, since it is something quite offending and degrading. But also the blood status of the Jews during the time of Hitler and the Nazis. Beside this, there are also the magical creatures which are considered as half-bloods, since they are magical, but not human. I compared those to many different ethnic and religious minorities, perhaps as well as homosexuals. I am also wondering if I should change the title a little bit in the course of writing my thesis. I talked with Reinfandt, and we thought the title should be as general as possible, so that I can pick upon different topics. We thought about “Racism and Fascism in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series”. If you are interested in it, then you can read it of course :) I am happy that it sounds interesting to you :)

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      1. I know what you mean! I feel a little spoiled by the range of topics that are covered in many departments here at Tufts. The other day I was checking what Tübingen will offer for the upcoming semester and it was disillusioning. I wouldn’t say boring per se, because some people might be interested in studying classic British and/or American literature and that is absolutely fine. Yet, I find the course selection very limiting based on the staff and the budget our university has. I wish that there would be more offerings in Cultural Studies as well. I was always lucky in my three years that I took classes that sounded and turned out to be fascinating and I’m using the knowledge that I acquired in my classes here in my senior year. I’m glad that I’m finished with my classes in Tübingen though, and only will visit a lecture from time to time when I’m back, just to keep my brain sharp.

        Awesome that I could help you creating a rough outline of your thesis. It’s always great to have some key ideas planned out. Just flesh it out over the next weeks. You will get more ideas and arguments during the process of research, which takes a major chunk out of writing your thesis.

        Based on what you wrote, I can imagine that a psychological and sociological approach would be good. Both racism and fascism are social constructions that have severe effects on individuals and communities as a whole. Racial hierarchies have social repercussions and therefore affect society. As you mentioned, mudblood can be used to degrade a person; it also has psychological effects. Take a look on how both -isms are treated historically and put it into context with the HP series.

        I agree that a more generalized title is fitting based on the idea to reach a broad audience (if you release it through a publisher for example). Further, a specific title, e.g. “The Sociological Effects of Mudblood as a Derogatory Term” can be very limiting in your research and can hinder you to approach various angles during your writing process.

        Yes, I sure will read it, even rough drafts and I can give you feedback. I love reading the work of my peers, and it sure does sound interesting! Did J.K. Rowling ever comment on the implications of racism and fascism in her book series?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If you want to talk more about the research process in general for both ideologies just write me an email, it’s easier to communicate about that in long-form. As you can see I wrote you a quite lengthy comment and that’s only some general suggestions that I would connect to a close reading of your texts.

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        2. Yes she openly said that she used historical facts in her stories. Even some of her characters embody persons of history.
          Yeah I am quite happy that this is my final semester in Tübingen. The courses get more and more boring. There are only fee profs who offer something different than the usual thing.
          Yes I also thought about psychological and maybe anthropological as well :) oh the title about the mudbloods sounds interesting. I could use it for a paragraph about mudbloods maybe ;)

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          1. Fascinating that she interconnected history in her story and characters!

            Yeah, especially if you have particular research interests it can be disappointing that professors offer similar courses every single semester. I’m also excited to graduate and move to another city and continue my studies!

            Sure, use it! Just mention me in your foreword, and I’ll be happy as a cow! :D

            Liked by 1 person

  3. A thesis not only a mere paper that you turn in!

    I know that I will write a foreword to describe my research process and give a little bit of context and background to the reader. And I want to thank people, who were part of the process. But it’s the choice of the individual student to include a foreword or preface. Some might not see the necessity depending on their work.

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