Anthropology Prof: “Potter about Life Lessons”

My first thought? I really have to hope the Harry Potter lecture at Cal State University Northridge was better than what is reported in the newspaper account of it online. If this is the future of Potter scholarship, we’re in trouble.

Some snips:

“All young people need to find within ourselves what we can do best in order to have a fulfilling life, that’s what ‘Harry Potter’ is about,” Magliocco said.


“The books are not about really practicing witchcraft, but about larger things in life,” Magliocco said. “With the values in the books you will see deep Christian values in there.”

There are stories on loyalty, self-sacrifice, helping your friends, putting their needs in front of yours and many other moral themes, she said.


When Magliocco began reading the series, she read with a critical perspective that she said allowed her to critically analyze the themes rather than just understanding the plot.

“It is really clear that the books are more than just about a magical story and a children’s story. It seemed to me that there was a lot of depth to them,” Magliocco said.

Your thoughts?

If you want to catch a real Potter Pundit in action, check out this YouTube talk by Travis Prinzi at “The Group Which Shall Not Be Named,” the NYC Harry Potter Meet-Up.


  1. One hopes the report is a comedy of errors. If it is accurate, then we have a tragedy!

    The Travis Prinzi talk is excellent. I had a most enjoyable hour listening to all six parts. Thanks for the link.

    You know, Professor, you could go all videoganger on us at this site or youtube. Just a thought.

  2. Arabella Figg says


  3. You know, Professor, you could go all videoganger on us at this site or youtube. Just a thought.

    Once my head’s above water after a trip to speak at Arizona State U, I have ideas along these lines; so continue to encourage Mr. Granger in this direction 😉

  4. “The world of Harry Potter itself is a Mirror of Erised, as a world we wish,” Magliocco said.

    The “power to imagine better,” to learn from literature and see ourselves and our world reflected in it, is very different from the tempting and dangerous mirror of Erised.

    “The Mirror of Raef”? Really???


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