MuggleNet Academia 11: Psychology and Harry Potter

Hogwarts and Mary Baldwin College Professor Louise Freeman joined the MuggleNet Academia crew to talk about the mental landscape of Harry Potter and the legion of characters populating his seven adventures. Here’s a synopsis of the program:

‘The Psychology of Harry Potter’

As soon as serious discussion of the Harry Potter novels began, there were interpretations of the books from a specifically psychological perspective. Jungians, Freudians, and other schools of western psychology have engaged the books as texts about psychological types and spiritual archetypes — and even used them in therapy with patients! MuggleNet Academia interviews Psychology professor Louise Freeman of Mary Baldwin College for answers to questions about the Dark Lord’s psychological condition — socio or psychopath? — Ms. Rowling’s admitted depression and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and penetrating second looks at Mad Eye Moody, Dudley Dursley, even Winky! Stand by for some fascinating insights into the artistry and meaning of the Hogwarts Saga from our position on the doctor’s couch…

Check it out by clicking here and listening in! Many thanks to Prof Freeman for the lively and challenging conversation.

MuggleNet Academia: Amy H. Sturgis and John Mark Reynolds

I have been out-of-town and out-of-touch for too long, for which absence of blogging I don’t foresee an immediate end, alas. The several talks I have given this summer — from the Keynote talk at St. Andrews and the Full Circle Bookstore cycle of seven lectures, one for each Potter adventure, to the marathon ‘HogPro Greatest Hits’ filmed at LeakyCon 3 and the latest, a Literary Alchemy talk at the University of Florida last week — I hope will eventually be available online.

I’ve kept my hand in the Harry Potter universe, but not much here at HogwartsProfessor. No promises for that to change real soon, as I said, but I do hope to share thoughts here about Casual Vacancy this weekend and next. Look up!

What I have been doing at least twice a month is talking at the MuggleNet Academia podcast alongside that website goliath’s representative, Keith Hawk. The latest two shows have been ones that I enjoyed very much, not only because both the guests are friends of this blog but because of the depth, speed, and challenging quality of these conversations about our favorite boy wizard and the 21st Century’s Shared Text.

Dr. Amy H. Sturgis talked about Fairy Tales and Harry Potter and she took a pronouncedly Tolkien-esque stance in strong contrast with the nominalist approach championed by Prof Joel Hunter at ASU. John Mark Reynolds, Provost at Houston Baptist University, Great Books wonk, and author of Chasing Shadows: Back to Barterra, rocked my world by blowing up several of my ideas of what constitutes Harry Potter canon with apt and piercing references to Plato, Calvin & Hobbes, as well as the inevitable Star Trek and LOTR notes. His comments about the future of fandom, in academia and elsewhere, are stunning in their simplicity, which ring of truth alone justifies your listening in.

For Dr. Sturgis, click here. For John Mark Reynolds, visit this MuggleNet page. And stay tuned — I’m working on discussions on Harry Potter and Psychology with Dr. Louise Freeman and on the Political Science of the Saga with Georgetown’s Daniel Nexon. Onward and upward!

MuggleNet Academia: Folktale Structure and Potter Mania

MuggleNet’s Keith Hawk, host of their MuggleNet Academia podcast, has written me to say the latest show, a discussion with independent scholar Joel Hunter about the folktale elements in Harry Potter that he believes is part of an explanation of Potter Mania, is available for downloading. From the MuggleNet news bulletin:

The latest episode of MuggleNet Academia is now released for your listening and academic pleasure. Lesson 7: ‘Folktale Structure as the Key to the Success of the Harry Potter Series’ discusses an in-depth look at the research behind the relationship of Folktale structures as described by Vladimir Propp and if this is the reason that the Harry Potter series is so a successful in today’s world.

Join the Host of the show, Keith Hawk, and Co-Host John Granger, The Hogwarts Professor and author of The Deathly Hallows Lectures, as we are joined by  Joel B. Hunter, independent scholar and Potter Pundit, and Arizona State University student Rita McGlynn.

Lesson 7:

  • Researching Harry Potter success through Folktale
  • Vladimir Propp 31 Basic Elements of a Folktale
  • Is Dumbledore considered the real hero of this story?
  • Can we apply this theory to other series’ like Hunger Games, or Twilight?
  • And much more!

To listen to the show and discover more insight into the fabulous literature of author J.K. Rowling, download the lesson right here, or head on over to iTunes. You can also listen directly from Facebook. [Read more…]

Whodunit? Harry Potter — In the Great Hall — With a Wand!

Those of you who love a Harry Potter themed podCast, head on over to Mugglenet Academia for a spirited and convivial conversation with Dolores Gordon-Smith, author of the Jack Haldean mysteries, about the influence of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers’ detective fiction on the Hogwarts Saga.

Mrs. Gordon-Smith, an Englishwoman with Irish mum, besides being an expert practitioner of the mystery writing craft (with a specialty in the set piece Drawing Room dramas of the inter bella period) is a lifetime reader and admirer of the Grand Dames of Detective Stories. And she knows her Harry Potter, too! Keith Hawk from MuggleNet and Sarah Granger, a rising fourth year student at the College of the University of Chicago join me and Dorothy for a romp through and review of each book in the series as a mystery piece.

For more on Sayers, Christie, and the meeting of Peter Wimsey, Hercule Poirot, and Harry’s friends at Hogwarts, there’s a chapter devoted to the subject in Harry Potter’s Bookshelf, a chapter I can recommend without blushing!

MuggleNet Academia PodCast: ‘The Law and Harry Potter’

The fourth MuggleNet Academia [MNA] podCast, a show that I co-host with MuggleNet’s Keith Hawk, is now available for uploading and for your Serious Reader critique! Here is how MuggleNet describes the Law show over at the program’s MNA page, with a list of links for the program right after:

The latest episode of MuggleNet Academia is now released for your listening and learning pleasure. Lesson 4: The Law and Harry Potter discusses the law in the Muggle World as it compares to the law as seen in the Wizarding World as well as how events in the Hogwarts Saga would be viewed in an American court room. [Read more…]