Call For Papers: Chestnut Hill Conference, 16 October 2015

Chestnut Hill College1One of the bigger (and better!) surprises I experienced at the MISTI Con gathering in New Hampshire this May came during a Big Tent ticketed discussion (and catered luncheon) I moderated between the two keynote speakers and the 200 serious readers who paid for the privilege. I received my surprise after the speaker’s presentations when I opened the floor to questions — and Patrick McCauley was the first in line to ask his.

St. Joseph Hall (Rotunda), Chestnut Hill College

St. Joseph Hall (Rotunda), Chestnut Hill College

If you don’t know Patrick McCauley and you are a long-time reader wanting to come to terms with the artistry and meaning of the Hogwarts Saga, you’re missing out. Besides being one of the founders and a host (with Karen Wendling) of the annual Chestnut Hill College Harry Potter Conference, he is doing the most exciting thinking and writing about Harry’s adventures I have stumbled across in several years. Both his talk at Chestnut Hill last fall (‘Violence Against Women in the Harry Potter series’) and the one I caught at MISTI Con this year left me delighted — even gobsmacked? — by the challenging ideas he is presenting.

So what? Two things.

First, the Chestnut Hill Harry Potter Conference this year is Friday, 16 October. It is the weekend of the Chestnut Hill  Harry Potter Festival, an event with the Conference that is not to be missed. No expensive sign up fees, no long lines, just a town that turns itself into Hogsmead and a college that hosts a first tier academic conference, Wizard Rock concerts, and Quidditch tournament. This year’s conference promises to be extra-special because it will be only days before the release of Cormoran Strike’s latest mystery-thriller, Career of Evil.

CHC1I urge one and all friends of HogwartsProfessor to attend, or, much better, to present a talk. The site to submit your paper abstract is right here. There is a High School category, too, with three $10,000 college scholarships in the offing. No joke. Last year’s presentations from this group were mind-blowing; I was very glad I wasn’t on the panel that had to choose the winners.

Nota bene: last year’s best conference papers are being published in a real book by a real publishing house — and I suspect such collections will be an annual thing. Just sayin.’

PensieveSecond, Patrick McCauley’s long-awaited book, Into the Pensieve: The Philosophy and Mythology of Harry Potter, will be available for purchase that weekend, ten days before you can buy it in stores or on Amazon. I plan on attending the conference, as well, giving at least one talk, and sharing with friends there some important news about the future of this web site and my work as “the Dean of Harry Potter scholars.”

I look forward to catching up with you there, listening to your talk and discussing it with you, and hearing your thoughts about my latest adventure. Sign up today!



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