‘The Boy who Lived’ in the Cupboard: ‘Queer Readings’ and Rowling’s Harry Potter Series

Oindri Roy

Department of Comparative Literature and India Studies, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. ORCID: 0000-0003-1959-1413. Email:

Volume 9, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n1.11

Received March 1, 2017; Revised April 7, 2017; Accepted April 12, 2017; Published May 7, 2017.


The paper argues that the articulation of non-normative identities, desires and meanings are possible even within literary representations that are also forms of deliberations to conform to (hetro)normalcy. A queer reading of the popular Harry Potter series created by J. K. Rowling is attempted to identify the understated proclivities of subversion in texts that have a non-esoteric readership. Certain ideations that have emerged from queer theoretical discourses are applied in the process of interpreting textual aspects, especially pertaining to the two important characters of Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter. The aim is not to add to the significantly large amount of slash fiction that the series has generated and instead use the grounds provided by the author herself, purposively and otherwise, that bear affinities or may be read in terms of certain theoretical exercises in the field of queer studies.

Keywords: Harry Potter, queer reading, homosexuality and literary representations, non-conformity, heteronormativity.

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