Oxford’s Beatrice Groves in Webinar with Potter Pundits Summer School

Beatrice Groves is a Research Fellow and Lecturer in Renaissance Literature at Trinity College, Oxford University, and the author of Literary Allusion in Harry Potter. I invited her as part of this month’s Potter Summer School to do a live Q&A webinar with the registered students last Thursday. She graciously agreed and the webinar went wonderfully; we were able to get to all the questions that were tossed out live and even to answer five or six of the ones that students who couldn’t be there at the time had sent me in advance.

For starters, we talked about literary alchemy and ring composition, the subjects of my first two Summer School talks (you can still register by the way; it’s free, painless, quick, and it gives you the only access you have to the four lectures and the pile of downloadable documents, all of which are coming down this week; just click here and join the hundreds of students from around the world already!).

Then we touched on Christian content, the canon of Harry Potter in light of the Fantastic Beasts films, how to read at depth and actively rather than passively, what gets us every time on re-reading, what readers most often miss or fail to appreciate, how Rowling organizes or outlines her work, even what one question would we ask Rowling if we were ever ushered into The Presence, head bowed, and allowed one boon.

It was fun and all the proof you could want that interactive learning with an expert in the field, no matter how exalted or far away, is possible, in fact, that it’s easy. Thanks to Professor groves for joining us! See you all in the weekly VLOG coming right up — and at the Potter Pundits Summer School, where I’ve just posted Lecture 3, about what bizarre and humorous type of writing Rowling learned from her three favorite writers, Austen, Colette, and Nabokov.

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