Archives for December 2009

Potter Pundits Poll: Please Participate!

Travis Prinzi, James Thomas, and I record podCasts once or twice a month for The Leaky Cauldron’s ‘PotterCast.’ They call these segments ‘The Potter Pundits’ because we explore the artistry and meaning of Harry Potter from a literary angle. The segments we have done have gone over very well, if I say so myself; we get a lot of positive feedback from TLC and from listeners. I have to admit, though, that I’d do it even if Fandom gave the shows a rousing raspberry because the shows for me are a wonderful opportunity and excuse every month to get together via Skype and talk with two thoughtful, funny, and eloquent readers, both of whom I wish lived next door.

The Potter Pundit parts of PotterCast are a sufficiently big deal that that show segment has its own website, PotterPundits.com, and a Facebook page. I kid you not. We’ve talked about Luna Lovegood, the Gothic elements in Harry Potter (with guest Pundit, Dr. Amy H. Sturgis), and most recently, Christmas at Hogwarts (#211).

But why do I bring this up? [Read more…]

Last Chance to Order TLC’s “Jingle Spells”!

Melissa Anelli of The Leaky Cauldron wrote me with this last minute announcement to share with both HogwartsProfessor readers that are into WRock music. Enjoy it, you two! [Read more…]

“Do I Want My College to be like Hogwarts?”

This high school student has been visiting many of the better American universities and thinks the schools are trying way too hard to make the “This School is Just Like Hogwarts!” connection with applicants. This wouldn’t be notable, I think, except she makes this complaint in her ‘Taking the Magic out of College’ essay on the Sunday New York Times editorial page.

Talk about shared text… (H/T to Richard of Augustana!)

‘Witches and the Problem of Evil’

The subject of witchcraft, real, alleged, and fictional, has been a big part of the discussion for serious readers of Harry Potter since the explosion of the magic controversy soon after the first books were in print. In America post-Salem, even with the advent of Wiccans and openly professed Witches in recent years, the idea of a real world “witch-hunt” by those concerned about occult influence, a hunt in which people thought to be witches are shunned or killed, is hard to take seriously.

In today’s Christianity Today online, Robert Priest reviews Witchcraft, Violence, and Democracy in South Africa by Adam Ashforth (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2005) in an article called ‘Witches and the Problem of Evil.‘ It isn’t an easy read but it is an important one. I came away from it with a much better understanding of the pervasiveness of witchcraft concerns in the world (and astonished at the violence involved) and with ideas about the psychology of Harry Hating I wouldn’t have had without this introduction. Highly Recommended.