John Granger: “The Dean of Harry Potter Scholars”

John GrangerDescribed by TIME as the “Dean of Harry Potter Scholars,” John Granger, PhD,  has been writing and speaking about the artistry and meaning of Joanne Rowling’s Hogwarts Adventures since 2002. In that time, he has consistently been ahead of the pack in understanding and explaining why readers love the Potter Saga. John is well known, for example, as the literary critic who spelled out the Christian content and value of Harry Potter within the tradition of English fantasy literature when others were burning the books because of their supposed “sorcery.” Seven years before Ms. Rowling’s alchemical scaffolding was revealed in an interview, too, John was explaining Shakespearean alchemical drama and its importance for understanding Harry to readers around the world.  In The Deathly Hallows Lectures, he has interpreted the predominant and extensive eye symbolism in the series finale in terms of the Romantic and Inkling traditions. Most recently, the original ‘Hogwarts Professor’ has explained the remarkable Ring Composition artistry of the seven book series and of each of the seven novels. If Harry Potter is a gateway to what’s best in English Literature, Granger has been the gatekeeper for the Shared Text of this generation.

John’s insights about Harry Potter have been published by Tyndale, Penguin Books, Unlocking Press and Zossima Press. In addition to How Harry Cast His Spell (Tyndale, 2008), the third edition and final update of his first book Hidden Key to Harry Potter, Granger is the author of Unlocking Harry Potter: Seven Keys for the Serious Reader (Zossima 2007), The Deathly Hallows Lectures: The Hogwarts Professor Explains the Final Harry Potter Adventure (Zossima, 2008), and Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: The Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures (Penguin, 2009). He has written Spotlight: A Close-Up Look at the Artistry and Meaning of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga (Zossima, 2010) as well, the first and only explanation of the Forks novels as literature and as texts with religious contents.

He has been a Featured and Keynote Speaker at Harry Potter conferences in Boston, Orlando, Las Vegas, Toronto, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Illinois, San Francisco, St. Andrews (Scotland), and Ottawa in addition to giving talks and classes on symbolist literature and iconological criticism at schools and other venues around the US. Granger has been a guest speaker at more than fifty major colleges and universities including Princeton, the Torrey Honors Institute (Biola), Pepperdine, Washington & Lee, La Salle, Cornell, Penn, Yale, the University of Chicago, Baylor, the New York C. S. Lewis Society, the New York Public Library (Mid Manhattan), and the Past Watchful Dragons C. S. Lewis Conference. He has given more than 100 radio, newspaper, and television interviews.

With authors Travis Prinzi and James Thomas, John was a “Potter Pundit” on The Leaky Cauldron’s popular “PotterCastsfrom 2007 to 2010. Together they wrote Harry Potter Smart Talks (Unlocking Press, 2010), a collection of their most popular Pundit podCasts and individual lectures. John created more than 50 podcasts with’s Managing Editor, Keith Hawk, on MuggleNet Academia, from which platform he interviewed university professors, fandom leaders, and others exploring the artistry and meaning of Harry’s adventures as well as other books and series he has inspired. Download those 2011-2016 discussions before they disappear! John was the Featured Guest of MuggleNet’s ‘Reading, Writing, Rowling’ on the first 45 episodes of Katy McDaniel’s podcast before it was rebranded as ‘Potterversity’ during the Rowling Witch Hunt (and name scrubbing) at that site, which Gender Theory Extremism John has refused to participate in or condone.

A dynamic and engaging speaker (can you say “Funny”?), John explains why we love reading our favorite books in a way everyone can understand and so that we want to read more books. Listen, for a sample of this magic, to his talk at the University of St Andrews in 2012 about Harry Potter and Literary Criticism or to his interview in this Hog’s Head PubCast about the Eyes of Deathly Hallows. You can schedule the “Dean of Harry Potter Scholars” for a ‘wow’ talk at your school, church, or library either by contacting him directly or through the Penguin Speakers Bureau and the Orthodox Speakers Bureau. Call or write today!

John is an honors graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, has a BA with honors, Classical Languages and Literature, from the University of Chicago, an MFA in Creative Writing with highest honors from Oklahoma City University, and a PhD in English Literature from Swansea University in Wales. His PhD thesis, ‘The Lake and the Shed: A Traditionalist Reading of J. K. Rowling’s Work,’ will be published in 2024. John can be reached via the Contact Page or by writing him at john at HogwartsProfessor dot com.

About the Approach and Method of

John Granger’s contribution to the crowded world of Harry Potter thinking since 2002 has been his insistence that Harry’s adventures be read as any other very good book rather than dissected as a sui generis phenomenon. This perspective has allowed him to explain how the magic of the books is not a departure from the traditions of English fantasy and, mirabile dictu, is even edifying Christian reading. On this weBlog John tries to focus on the artistry of and patterns employed by Ms. Rowling in the world’s most popular novels; using the keys of iconological and formalist criticism to unlock the greater meaning and power of Harry Potter, whence Potter-mania. He welcomes your comments in the boxes after his posts.