MuggleNet Academia: Harry Potter and ‘The Indian in the Cupboard’ – Rowling’s Missteps and Misappropriation in ‘History of Magic in North America’

Professor Amy Sturgis and Allison Mills, two serious students and admirers of J. K. Rowling’s artistry and meaning in her Hogwarts Saga, are Native Americans and scholars of First Nations culture and treatment of indigenous peoples in literature. They join Keith Hawk and John Granger to discuss the controversy surrounding Rowling’s depiction of Native Americans and her use of symbols and characters from First Nations traditions in ‘History of Magic in North America.’

Is it all overblown political correctness from minorities looking to play the victim to supposed colonial oppressors? Or has J. K. Rowling, self-proclaimed champion of the marginalized and ‘other,’ over stepped herself in careless, damaging, and negligent story telling at the expense of peoples persistently persecuted or forgotten?

Join us for a wide-ranging and penetrating discussion of an issue that won’t go away because it tells us so much about the focus of Rowling’s work and, as important, the lack of care in other aspects of her writing. Listen and then join in the discussion in the comment boxes below!

MuggleNet Academia #50: Harry Potter and the Genetics of Wizarding

Duke’s Eric Spana and super guest Priyanka Nadar join Keith and John for a discussion of the only science, precluding metaphysics, of great relevance in the Wizarding World: Genetics!

Purebloods, Squibs, and the real reason that witches and wizards have not learned how to manipulate chromosomes or the larger gene pool with a wave of the wand — Join us for a fun and fascinating conversation of what Rowling gets right and wrong in her fictional depiction of genetically determined yet transcendentally magical heroes and heroines.

What are the chances that Aunt Petunia’s recessive magical gene could become active in Dudley? Have a listen and find out!

MuggleNet Academia: Rights, Copyright, and Playwrights!

Copyright authority and Potter Pundit Heidi Tandy joins Keith Hawk and John to talk about ‘The Cursed Child’ and how Rowling’s various agreements with movie moguls, merchandisers, and thespian companies may have shaped her decisions to write (outsource?) the ‘Eighth Harry Potter novel’ and Fantastic Beasts screenplays.

Join us for a fun and heavily speculative discussion and guesswork about the financial backstory of Rowling’s Potter franchise!

MuggleNet Academia: Four Hogwarts Professors Discuss ‘Cursed Child’

Hogwarts Professors Louise Freeman, Elizabeth Baird-Hardy, Emily Strand, and John Granger spoke with Managing Editor Keith Hawk last week to share our first thoughts about the “Special Rehearsal Edition Script” of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It was a full faculty meeting of your favorite serious reader web site and it was as much fun as you’d have guessed.

Is Cursed Child canon or just Store Brand Meta Potter? What was Rowling thinking to accomplish by putting her name on this time-traveling travesty and then declaring it was the last Harry Potter story, full stop? Would the script pass a computer literary analysis for Rowling syntactic or thematic signatures?

Download and listen to the show — and let us know what you think in the comment boxes below!

MuggleNet Academia: Can You Learn How to Write Like Rowling? Oh, Yeah!

MuggleNet’s Keith Hawk and I talk with C. S. Plocher of and Christine Frazier of about the magic of J. K. Rowling’s artistry and the ways wannabe writers can imitate her by borrowing tools she uses (and others they’d best avoid). I love the way these ladies think and cannot urge you strongly enough to check out the brilliant things they’ve written about Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and other fiction at their sites.

But first check out this roller coaster ride of a contrarian convention conversation as we discuss influence, allusion, literary alchemy, ring composition, whether Rowling’s hero’s journey is formulaic, Christian symbolism, dialogue, planning vs flying by the seat of your pants, and much more. A Top Ten MNet academia episode for sure!