Statement of Purpose: The intent of this project will be to explore the interplay between the 2006-2007 Gwinnett County, Georgia challenge to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and the entrenchment of the Religious Right in the United States from 1970-Present, with an emphasis on broad perceptions of the alternative religion, Wicca. The project will be intended for a general audience, and both user engagement and accessibility will be prioritized.


Overview of Objectives:

 

Website Design and Design Objectives:

  • Interactivity; primarily visual.
    • One or more visuals per section/subsection. Consistent use of visuals (size, placement, etc.) except in the case of breaking up blocks of text.
    • Varied methods of displaying text/data. Possible options: graphs, charts, tooltips, and embedded content.
  • Locked navigation bar designed to scroll with the screen helps streamline navigation.
  • Accessibility and readability.
    • Simple font, colors are muted and don’t cause eye strain.
    • Several paths of navigation for ease of access; main navigation section consistent with the theming, plus a sidebar for navigation using less esoteric language; we may also incorporate some internal links to connect relevant pages, particularly where our info on Harry Potter and Religion and the case itself intersect.
  • No large, uninterrupted blocks of text unless necessary: interviews and other primary sources which need to stay intact in larger forms will be accompanied with photo, video, or annotation to keep the page visually stimulating
    • Approachable language throughout: around a 10th grade reading level. (Ideally verified by both proofreaders in the GC&SU Writing Center, and digital reading-level verification tools.
  • Good sense of aesthetics
    • Overarching aesthetics: Occultism, Fundamentalist Christianity, The Urban/Suburban South, Books and Libraries, Courts and Courthouses.
    • WordPress themes: Landscape

 

Major Sections:

  • Home Page
    • Image-based links to primary pages, summary of goal of site with internal links to case/background pages
  • The Mallory Cases
    • One page subdivided between each individual challenge (four total):
      • Original Complaint at JC Magill
      • Appeal to school system
      • Appeal to local board, expansion of complaint to all (at the time of the case) 6 books for all Gwinnett County public schools
      • Appeal to State Board of Education
    • Similar cases, possibly another case in the Gwinnett County System
  • Religious Right in the 21st Century and Occult Panic
    • Basic information – the Five Ws
    • Wicca, Spirituality, and Heterodox Christianity
    • Caryl Matrisciana
      • Major works
      • “Harry Potter – Making Evil Look Innocent.”
  • Harry Potter – Background
    • Brief summary of challenged books
    • National and international challenges on an embedded StoryMap
    • Infographic/chart created using Visme showcasing popular reasons for challenging the series (Is religion the biggest motivating factor? Are there others?)
  • Case Outcome
    • Impact of case on local community/school system
    • Interview (?) with Gwinnett County educator about case, ideas on censorship in the classroom
    • Influence of  rise of Religious Right on the Mallory Case (author thoughts)
      • Answer Questions such as: How do heavily do personal religious beliefs play into censorship challenges? Is this more or less common since the 70s? In the South? How do cases such as this one showcase these issues of censorship and religion, particularly the complaint from parents that a book is “anti-Christian” or promoting a religion different from their own? How do these concerns affect educators and students?
  • General Information: Authors, COPLAC
  • Possibly a “For Educators/Students” section with guided discussion ideas

 

Featured Content:

  • Interviews: Our hope is to get permission from our interviewees to record video of our interviews; if this is not possible, we will stick to transcribed interviews; if we do get video interviews, transcription of the interview will still be available for greater accessibility
    • At least one with an educator or archivist familiar with the context, and at least one with a related figure, preferably Mallory herself, or a representative of either the state or local school board.
    • Previous interviews conducted by other individuals and news agencies.
  • Annotated Case Summaries:
    • State Appellate Court Case Summary
    • Lower court/board summaries if such materials exist.
    • Mallory’s individual complaint forms.
    • If possible, I would like to present the document in full, and have highlighted portions which display an extended tooltip when moused-over. This may require intensive coding outside of our skillset, however. (Thinglink?)
  • Embedded footage of the case and previous video interviews pending permissions.
  • A timeline created using Timeline JS.

 

Digital Tools/Software:

  • Visme
  • Thinglink
  • TimelineJS
  • Possibly StoryMap JS
  • WordPress
  • Hypothes.is

 

Project Milestones:

  • March 15th: Complete draft of home page, about us, and one of our case pages
  • March 18th: Complete timeline
    • All applicable, publicly available information about each of the four cases has been compiled. By the 18th, we will use TimelineJS to produce a clear and understandable sequence of events; we will also begin preparing supplementary content, like charts, graphs, etc., to embed on the site.
  • March 22nd: Complete interviews, add supplementary content
    • Conduct at least two significant interviews in full, edit audio as necessary, and create a transcription. We will also be in the process of placing them as needed on the site. Charts, graphs, maps, and other supplementary site content will also be completed by this date.
  • March 29th: Complete Harry Potter series summary page, National response page, at least one of our religious background pages, and three more of our 6 case-related pages
  • April 5th: Complete remaining pages (rest of case pages, rest of religion pages, case outcome page, resources page [for educators/students discussion guide, external links to additional information])
    • With our pages done by April 5th, we will have the weekend to polish our drafted site, comment on and adjust each other’s individual pages, and make sure the entire site has a clean, cohesive look
  • April 8th: Complete website
    • A polished draft of the site has been published on WordPress. Aside from minor editing, the site is considered complete. Almost all content and design features are generally considered to be finalized.
  • April 12th: Double check permission status on all secondary sources/media; if adjustments need to be made to adhere to copyright rules, make these changes immediately
  • April 22nd: Apply feedback/comments, complete minor edits/adjustments, review entire site for any informational gaps/last minute changes
  • April 26th: Finalize website
    • Remaining edits and peer review feedback are considered and acted-on as necessary. Final edits will be primarily aesthetic changes, changes in the placement of items on screen, etc; edits related to readability and accessibility.

 

Individual Roles and Division of Labor:

  • Avery:
    • Home Page
    • Historical Background
      • “Religious Right in the 21st Century and Occult Panic”
        • Includes the following sub-pages: Rise of the Religious Right (1970s-Present), Wicca, Occult Panic, Religion in the South, Religion and Harry Potter
        • Because these pages are slightly more research-heavy, Olivia will take care of the case pages and contextual Harry Potter pages
    • “For Educators/Students” part of Resource page
    • Half of Case Outcome page
    • Half of Authors/COPLAC page
        • The authors’ section is subject to each author’s individual perspective on the case, but both will be structured collaboratively so as to cover roughly the same points.
    • Inventory Management
      • Rent/arrange to use necessary technology.
    • Point of Contact for Lisa Eickholdt
    • Point of Contact for GC Historians
    • Audio/Video for interviews
  • Olivia:
      • “The Mallory Case”:
        • Includes the following sub-pages: Laura Mallory, Original Complaint, Appeal #1, Appeal #2, Appeal #3, and Community Reaction
      • “Harry Potter in the US”:
        • Includes the following sub-pages: Series Summary, National Reaction
      • “Additional Materials” part of Resources page
      • Half of Case Outcome page
      • Half of Authors/COPLAC page
        • The authors’ section is subject to each author’s individual perspective on the case, but both will be structured collaboratively so as to cover roughly the same points.
    • Site incorporation of primary/secondary sources
      • Ensure proper usage rights, acquisitions, Open Records Act paperwork, and direct consultations with JC Magill Elementary School.
    • Point of Contact for Superintendent’s Office/Gwinnett County
    • Point of Contact for Secondary Interviewee (most likely a Gwinnett County educator)
    • Point of Contact for Laura Mallory (if we are able to get in touch with her)
    • Transcription of Video/Audio for Interviews

 

  • Shared Content:
    • Use of Timeline JS, Thinglink, StoryMaps, and other related technologies
      • These will be present on multiple pages, and therefore each partner will create the related technology for their respective pages
    • Interviews
      • Although each partner will be in charge of coordinating interviews for the people with whom they are the point of contact and doing the majority of editing for those interviews, we will collaborate on forming interview questions and, if possible, will both attend all interviews to assist whoever is taking the lead with tech, transport, etc.
    • Case Outcome page
      • Like our Authors/COPLAC page, each partner will contribute their ideas/reactions to the questions we hope to answer on this page, and we will collaborate on combining our separate sections into a cohesive whole