Happy 20th Anniversary, Harry Potter! Announcing a new podcast!

Dear Hogwarts Professor readers:

Happy Anniversary! It’s been 20 years since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. And it seems it’s been almost that long since the last gripping, academic discussion of Harry Potter by your favorite Potter pundits on the podcast Mugglenet Academia (RIP). But never fear! A new forum for over-educated Potter nerdiness is on its way! The new podcast, Reading, Writing, Rowling, hopes to match and even one day surpass Academia in both erudition and geekiness. How could it not, with Katy McDaniel and John Granger at the helm? We hope you enjoy this teaser trailer for the new production.

Mischief definitely NOT managed!

Tim Parks: ‘The Writer’s Job’ in The New York Review of Books A Hogwarts Professor Conversation About the Literary Machine

At The New York Review of Books, Tim Parks has written a bleak and challenging assessment of the ‘life of a writer’ in the early 21st Century, ‘The Writer’s Job,’ and the consequent ‘state of literature,’ Capital L. John Patrick Pazdziora wrote a group of friends and HogwartsProfessors with his thoughts about Park’s gloomy picture, which note inspired a reflective exchange both on the history of this kind of assessment and what a writer’s life is like at any time among his correspondents. With their permission, I share that exchange below. Please read the Park article, enjoy the conversation, and feel free to contribute to it here in the comment boxes!

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We Didn’t Start the Fire: Young Adult Reading Controversy

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article decrying the state of Young Adult fiction, proclaiming that the whole genre has gone to the sewers with the graphic, the gruesome, and the crude.  The article has generated a firestorm of  response, and some pretty lively email amongst the Professors here and our associates, so we  thought it was about time that we got up a post about it so we could continue that conversation here! [Read more…]

HogProfs Round Table: Harry Potter’s Baptism

On the eve of Holy Theophany and as the Anglican Communion considers re-writing their baptismal rites (again), what better time to have a discussion about a curious extra-canonical Hogwarts Saga event, namely, Harry Potter’s infant baptism? Ms. Rowling discussed her lead character’s Christening in the Sparks-Anelli Interview, 2005, and I’ve asked our four Hogwarts faculty members on call to share their thoughts to jump start our conversation. It’s a subject that brings in all sorts of issues beside the usual question of how much Christian content there really is in the stories, to include the relative importance of interviews versus the published works, Harry as a Christ figure, and what we can tell about fictional character’s beliefs if they never express them explicitly (as is the rule in the UK).

Please jump right in the conversation to share your comments and corrections!

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