John Granger’s Two Talks at Leaky Con 2011

I hope to see you in Orlando, Florida, 13-17 July, for the second edition of the Leaky Cauldron’s Leaky Con. You can read all about it and sign up here, if you haven’t already. It promises to be a Fandom spectacular, especially because of the movie release that will happen mid-conference and the presence of Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which all but guarantees a crowd of Harry Potter mecca pilgrims. As has been true of every conference since Nimbus 2003 (HPEF), also in Orlando, there are rumors that The Presence Herself will make an appearance.

But I wouldn’t count on that.

What you can count on will be two talks by me about subjects that will excite serious readers. Elizabeth Baird-Hardy will be there as well and we’re hoping that Travis Prinzi will join us for a co-ed, ad hoc Potter Pundits panel and maybe a podCast for The Hog’s Head. To read about my talks, make the jump! To see them, travel to Orlando —

Writing in Circles: Harry Potter and the Magic of Ring Composition

Put on a pair of Harry’s round glasses and experience the Hogwarts Saga as you never have before. We know that the magic of Harry Potter is the remarkable artistry and story-scaffolding of Ms. Rowling’s writing. But who knew that ‘Rowling’ meant ‘rolling’ as in ‘moving in circles’? John Granger explains that the seven book series as a whole is an integrated Ring Composition and that each individual novel, too, is built on a strict Ring of chapters that are, as Dumbledore puts it, “reverse echoes” of chapters reflecting their meaning on opposite sides of that book. Granger charts the series architecture and the lay-out of every book  so this structure is unmistakable and then he links this traditional artistry to Ms. Rowling’s postmodern and Christian meaning. For the serious reader who needs to know the how and why of Harry’s popularity, ‘Writing in Circles’ delivers amazing insights about and a fresh appreciation of the genius and magic of Ms. Rowling’s work.

Harry Potter and the Metaphysical Center: A ‘Theory of Everything’ to Tie Together the Artistry and Meaning Driving Potter-Mania

Just like Mad-Eye Moody’s magical trunk, no single ‘hidden key’ opens up or literary lens reveals every aspect and depth of Joanne Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. John Granger, author of Unlocking Harry Potter: Seven Keys for the Serious Reader, tells us in a wild tour of the specific choices the author made in putting together the series — from the basics of genre and narratological voice to the eye and circle symbolism and literary alchemy — that it is the combination and synergy of the artistry and meaning that makes reading the Hogwarts Saga the transformative and engaging experience it is. The Hogwarts Professor promises to offer a credible ‘Theory of Everything’ on a roller coaster ride revealing why we love reading in general and how Harry’s adventures deliver the goods we are looking for like no other books.

John’s Leaky Con schedule: It’s all on Saturday!

Writing in Circles Saturday morning 10-11 and Harry Potter and the Metaphysical Center on Saturday afternoon 3-4:30. Both in Pacific Ballroom 8-12

See you there!


  1. Dillypoo says

    Please tell me your presentations will be available on-line or for download after the conference! I can’t make it to LeakyCon.

  2. I don’t think the talks will be available online, Dillypoo, though I’ll be posting tomorrow about a conference next year that will be entirely online.

    If you want to hear these talks, all you have to do is get your local library, school, or church to sponsor my visit. Write me via the ‘Contact’ tab above for details about how easy that is.

  3. It sounds great, John. But for the life of me I can’t figure out why things like this are planned in the summer in places that are so hot. Las Vegas was one thing – at least it’s not humid. But Florida? It was unbearably hot and humid some of the days we were there in May. I can’t imagine what it will be like in July.

  4. You can imagine why, Eeyore.

    They’re in the summer because most people have their vacations then.

    They are held in hot spots like Vegas because the larger (and thus cheaper) resorts are there. They’re significantly (?) less expensive in the summer because the weather is miserable, unless, of course, you are an armadillo.

    And, of course, all the big Potter conferences will be in Orlando from hence because of the theme park, which assures they will get participants who have always wanted to go to Wizarding World (or want to return!) and the conference is an extra incentive.

    Did I mention that flights and hotels in resort towns are less expensive for participants than elsewhere?

    All of that only to say, “it makes sense.” Last summer, though, James Thomas and I walked to Wizarding World and almost expired (as in “breathed our last”) in the 110 degrees Fahrenheit, 100% humidity soup they call a climate in Orlando. Memories of Houston!

    I’m guessing the time to visit for the best weather is February. Not much chance of anyone scheduling a conference then, I’m afraid.

    How about planning one in Seattle or Bellingham? You know I’d be there!

  5. Summer conferences are hot no matter where you are – or at least the potential for it is there – went to a library conference in Boston a few summers ago, and it ended up being in the high 90s all week (on a campus without a lot of a/c! it was unusual to be that hot that early in the summer)

  6. John, is this Ring of Reverse Echoes similar to (or an expansion of) the rhetorical scheme Chiasmus which is seen in the chiastic structure of many Bible passages, such as John 1:1-2?

  7. Yes. Read about it here and here.

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