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USA Health System
News Release
Mobile, Ala. (September 1, 2010)
Contact: Ashley Givens, (251) 470-1682
“Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance, Science, Magic and Medicine” Exhibit Hosted at USA Biomedical Library

The University of South Alabama Biomedical Library is pleased to announce that “Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance, Science, Magic, and Medicine,” an exhibition developed and produced by the Exhibition Program at the National Library of Medicine, will be coming to Mobile, Ala., this fall.

From Sept. 7 through Oct. 16, 2010, the exhibit will be hosted at USA’s Baugh Biomedical Library on the USA campus and at other locations in the Mobile area. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

In 1997, British author J. K. Rowling introduced the world to Harry Potter and a literary phenomenon was born. Although a fantasy story, the magic in the Harry Potter books is partially based on Renaissance traditions that played an important role in the development of Western science, including alchemy, astrology and natural philosophy.

Incorporating the work of several 15th and 16th century thinkers, the seven-part exhibit series examines important ethical topics such as the desire for knowledge, the effects of prejudice, and the responsibility that comes with power. This exhibition, using materials from the National Library of Medicine, explores Harry Potter’s world, its roots in Renaissance science, and the ethical questions that affected not only the wizards of Harry Potter, but also the historical thinkers featured in the series.

To further enhance the physical exhibit, the USA Biomedical Library will host the program “Magic, Alchemy, and Medicine in Harry Potter’s World” presented by Dr. Elizabeth Lane Furdell, professor of history at the University of North Florida on Sept. 15, 2010, at 4 p.m. The event will be preceded by a 3 p.m. reception with refreshments in the USA College of Medicine Conference Room.

Dr. Furdell’s presentation brings to light the contentious transition that kings, physicians, charlatans and alchemists found themselves in during the English Renaissance as they tried to discover the secrets of life while maintaining their own roles in society. Her content is suitable for Harry Potter fans of all ages and is free and open to the community at large.

“Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance, Science, Magic, and Medicine” will move to the Mobile Botanical Gardens for the Gulf Coast Herb Society’s Herb Days Sept. 17-19, 2010; to the West Regional Branch of the Mobile Public Library from Sept. 20-30, 2010; and to the Mobile Medical Museum Oct. 4-14, 2010, where the exhibit will be enhanced by the museum’s special collection of rare books and a special exhibit, “Nature’s Pharmacy” - a collection of some of the very roots and bottled remedies found in the Harry Potter books.

For more information contact Beverly Rossini at (251) 460-6893.

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Date last changed: September 1, 2010 9:36 AM