A Message from the Chestnut Hill Harry Potter Conference: “We’re On in 2018!”

The most important annual gathering of Potter Pundits is the ‘Harry Potter Conference’ at Chestnut Hill College. Professors Wendling and McCauley bring together the leading voices of academic and fan voices about the artistry and meaning of J. K. Rowling’s Hogwarts Saga. There have been rumors of the conference’s demise this year because of Warner Brothers’ crackdown on Potter festivals, however, and I received the note below from the Conference Co-ordinators which they asked that I pass on to you. The very good news? It’s on, it’s twice as long, that is, it is a proper two day gathering this year, and this year’s gathering promises to be better than ever. See you there?

Dear HP friends,

This is a letter to the broad community surrounding the Annual Harry Potter Academic Conference held at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia every October (www.harrypotterconference.com). We want to alert everyone to the fact that we will definitely be holding the conference as usual this year on October 19th and 20th

As you probably have heard, many of the Harry Potter events around the country have been shut down recently [or forced to change their names; cf., Roanoke’s Potter Bash is now ‘Generic Magic Festival’ and Staunton’s gathering has been rechristened ‘Queen City Mischief and Magic’ — John].  The downtown event here in Chestnut Hill is one of them, though a “Wands and Wizards” evening event is currently being planned for October 19th

We send this letter to assure you that the academic conference has not been affected by recent changes and ask you to please spread the word.  The annual conference has grown over the past six years to be one of the most fertile opportunities to meet and seriously discuss the Wizarding World of J. K. Rowling, as well as its cultural impact.  The conference draws people from around the country. The willingness of people (you!) to come and participate is the conference’s most precious asset.

We are also pleased to announce that we will be extending the conference across both Friday and Saturday this year for the first time. Our college Quidditch tournament will be held on campus on Saturday as well. We ask that you take the time to use whatever means at your disposal to spread the word that the 7th Annual Harry Potter Conference at Chestnut Hill College is ON! Conference Registration is open to anyone interested in attending and Abstract Proposals are being accepted if you would like to present.

See you in October!

~Karen Wendling & Patrick McCauley, Harry Potter Academic Conference Coordinators




  1. David James says

    John….my paper, ‘Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts: The power of Myth and Magic’ was just accepted into the programming of HPCCH !!
    We will explore the elements of how myth, morals and magic work within and through the works of J. K. Rowling including some interesting observations on the meaning and purpose of some of the magical creatures used in Harry Potter and the now famous Magizooligist, Newt Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts.

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