Harry Potter Track at Southwest Popular and American Culture Association (SWPACA) Conference in Albuquerque

I am on my way this afternoon to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the Southwest Popular and American Culture Association conference (SWPACA) being held there this Wednesday to Saturday. I’d never heard of this annual gathering of Potter Pundits until this past year’s Chestnut Hill College Harry Potter Conference — and there is big news from them that we’ll be announcing later this week — where I met a gaggle of brilliant presenters that had taken part in SWPACA and heard more than once that it was a kind of west coast ‘sister conference’ to Chestnut Hill.

I really should have known about it, if only because the Harry Potter track of talks has been the source of several critical essay anthologies edited by Christopher E. Bell. I’m looking forward to listening to the talks, catching up with Chestnut Hill veterans (to include Patrick McCauley and Karen Wendling, CHC sponsors), and maybe even signing up a few guests for Katy McDaniel’s ‘Reading, Writing, Rowling’ podcast on MuggleNet.

Here is the program of speakers and talks for the SWPACA 2018 Harry Potter Track. If you’re coming, please say hello! If you’re not, please let me know what talks you’d love to hear more about.

I will be speaking about what a study of the writer Rowling says she “really loves,” Vladimir Nabokov, tells us about her work; in brief, that we have misunderstood her entirely insomuch as we think of her as a children’s book writer, a political partisan, or just the most successful of conventional story tellers. If you want to hear a recording of that, let me know in the boxes below!


  1. John, I’d love to hear your talk – thanks!

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