I’m responding to one Mark Boyle, who felt it necessary to write to you on 24 October to criticise me, and my book Picture-book Professors: Academia and Children’s Literature, without bothering to fact-check his opinion.
This is a shame, as the book is freely available to download from Cambridge University Press in both PDF and Kindle versions.
Mr Boyle makes the observation that I have missed the female professors in Harry Potter. However, I mention the professors of Harry Potter throughout the book. My method was to look at illustrated professors (hence “Picture-book Professors”), and although Harry Potter is “riddled with professors... the illustrations featured in the American editions of the Harry Potter novels concentrate on the male academics [in order of illustration]: Dumbledore, Snape, Quirrell, Lockhart, Mad-eyed Moody, Hagrid, Firenze, Lupin, and Slughorn. The only two female professors illustrated are Trelawney and Umbridge. Professor Minerva Mcgonagall, although a central maternal figure within all the Harry Potter books, is omitted from any illustration in any English language edition published prior to 2015.”
I understand it is very predictable that a woman who has written about the lack of representation of women in the media has been targeted by
a “man who knows best”, who has not taken the time to read a freely available text. I urge Mark and your other readers to download my freely available research, and make up their own minds: after reading, but not before.
(PROF) MELISSA TERRAS
University of Edinburgh College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences