Last Call for Papers: The 2011 PotterWatch Conference

If you live within driving distance of Charlotte, North Carolina, you are in for a treat — and if you’re a student of any kind, there’s an opportunity to roll out your Harry Potter smarts in public. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s official fandom group, PotterWatch, is sponsoring an academic conference this April 9th on ‘Why We Love Harry,’ his “crossover appeal,” and they have Dr. Amy H. Sturgis as their Featured Speaker.

Their Call for Papers deadline is, gulp. Saturday, 26 March, and the all the relevant information is below the jump. I wish I could get down there; if you can, please send us a full report!

Harry Potter and Crossover Audiences
the 2011 PotterWatch Conference at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte
April 9, 2011
Charlotte, NC
Call for Papers

The Harry Potter series has been translated into more than 60 languages, inspired a multi-million dollar theme park, and prompted the creation of an “International Quidditch Association” comprised of hundreds of teams. What began as a British children’s book became an international best-selling series. Much of the success of the novels can be attributed to crossover appeal—how Harry is loved by audiences of a variety of ages, genders, and religions. How do the books speak to so many different, sometimes opposing, audiences? Why do we love Harry so much?

PotterWatch, the official Harry Potter club of UNC Charlotte, will be hosting an academic conference focusing on the theme of audiences within the Harry Potter series and fandom. We invite submissions of paper and panel proposals that address the theme of audience and crossover appeal in relation to the Harry Potter series, looking at reader response from a variety of academic perspectives.

Suggested topics include:
· Harry Potter from an international perspective
· Religious responses to the series
· Generational appeal (the “crossover” novel)
· group response to Harry Potter (fan clubs, quidditch, book/movie premieres, etc.)
· is Harry Potter a “boy’s book?”

To be considered for presentation, please submit a 250-word abstract for individual papers or panel proposals to by March 26, 2011. Please include the paper title, your name (and names of all panel presenters if applicable), your institution, and your affiliation (faculty, student, other). Individual presentations should be 10-15 minutes in length, while panel presentations should last for 45 minutes. Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to submit proposals.


  1. Carrie-Ann Biondi says

    And here’s a last Call for Papers for a conference I’m organizing on philosophical themes in the Harry Potter corpus, which John very kindly posted a few months ago. I’m glad to extend the deadline from the original 4/1 through the weekend to 4/4:

    I hope to see some of you submit a paper (and even if not a paper, to see some of you in attendence on 10/29)!


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