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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Harry Potter’s World’ links modern medicine with Renaissance traditions

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photo by Jonathan Sheen  

Modern medicine may have roots in potions and mythology.
“Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine,” one of the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s exhibits combining medicine and the arts, will illustrate how Renaissance traditions — the basis for the magic in Harry Potter — played an important role in Western sciences and medicine, said Laura Rey, library specialist at the Medical Sciences Library.
The exhibit in the Medical Sciences Library displays several books and posters that describe the magical elements of Harry Potter as well as other mythological and magical creatures, and new portions of the exhibit will be added each week until Nov. 8.
Esther Carrigan, associate libraries dean and director of the MSL, said “Harry Potter’s World” is one of the more popular exhibits and thought it would be a fitting choice to host it during the month of October.
Although there are many facets of modern medicine that are still to be explored, Carrigan said she thinks that there is a connection between the development of modern medicine and renaissance roots.
“If you think of the early healers, they were considered to be witches because people did not understand their power — their knowledge of things like herbology and the ability to concoct potions,” Carrigan said.
Halak Joshi, engineering systems graduate student, said she was looking forward to visiting the exhibit because she is a Harry Potter fan.
“It has been three years since there have been any new installments from the [Harry Potter] franchise, but I am not any less of a fan than I was three years ago,” Joshi said. “Harry Potter fans like me continue to follow it through Facebook pages, blogs and websites like Pottermore.”
There will also be three events Thursday related to the exhibit and sponsored by the MSL— a description and explanation of the game of Quidditch at 4 p.m. followed by a Harry Potter-themed costume contest and a Texas A&M Quidditch team match.
Rey said the library hoped the Halloween-themed events would better promote the exhibit.
“By midterm in the semester, students are ready for a change of pace, which we felt having a costume contest related to our exhibit will allow just that,” Rey said.
Carrigan said there have been expressions of interest amongst the visitors.
“We have had people ask, ‘What’s this all about? What are you going to do next?’” Carrigan said.
Halak said she is excited for the exhibit and the events.
“I am very excited to know that there is such an exhibit in A&M,” Carrigan said. “I am excited about how the costume competition would turn out, how everyone would dress up, who’ll be Dumbledore or who’ll be Snape.”
Patrick Zinn, marketing manager for the University Libraries, said they hope to have a literary lecture on Harry Potter at the Cushing Library to connect it to the exhibit, since they have some rare first editions of Harry Potter.

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