Harry Potter and the Many Faces of Fake: Chinese Harry Potter Forgeries


The Harry Potter series has enchanted audiences all around the globe. The immense success of the Harry Potter stories has inspired all sorts of parodies, fan fiction, and even outright forgeries. In this double-feature talk, Dr Christopher J. Foster (SOAS) introduces his collection of Chinese Harry Potter "forgeries". He discusses how and why he sought out these works, and surveys the great lengths that forgers sometimes went to pass off their products as part of J.K. Rowling’s canon. Not all forgeries are alike, and Chris demonstrates the great range of deceptions that can take place, from pirated printings and unofficial translations, to misappropriated fan-fiction, plagiarism of other fantasy series, or outright made-up stories. JunProfDr Lena Henningsen (University of Freiburg) delves deeper into the conceptual implications of these works for our understanding of authenticity. Through a close reading of Harry Potter and the China DollHarry Potter and Baozoulong, and Harry Potter and the Chinese Foreign Exchange Student at Hogwarts, Lena explicates the meaning of “fake” and its relation to fan culture in specific.


Virtual Exhibit

Chris's collection of Chinese Harry Potter forgeries was exhibited by Harvard Library as part of the Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting Books or Art (2016, 2nd). Harvard Library has created a virtual exhibit, where you can find more information and images from the collection:

Virtual Exhibit (Harvard Library)

Harry Potter and the China Doll