MuggleNet Academia: Amy H. Sturgis and John Mark Reynolds

I have been out-of-town and out-of-touch for too long, for which absence of blogging I don’t foresee an immediate end, alas. The several talks I have given this summer — from the Keynote talk at St. Andrews and the Full Circle Bookstore cycle of seven lectures, one for each Potter adventure, to the marathon ‘HogPro Greatest Hits’ filmed at LeakyCon 3 and the latest, a Literary Alchemy talk at the University of Florida last week — I hope will eventually be available online.

I’ve kept my hand in the Harry Potter universe, but not much here at HogwartsProfessor. No promises for that to change real soon, as I said, but I do hope to share thoughts here about Casual Vacancy this weekend and next. Look up!

What I have been doing at least twice a month is talking at the MuggleNet Academia podcast alongside that website goliath’s representative, Keith Hawk. The latest two shows have been ones that I enjoyed very much, not only because both the guests are friends of this blog but because of the depth, speed, and challenging quality of these conversations about our favorite boy wizard and the 21st Century’s Shared Text.

Dr. Amy H. Sturgis talked about Fairy Tales and Harry Potter and she took a pronouncedly Tolkien-esque stance in strong contrast with the nominalist approach championed by Prof Joel Hunter at ASU. John Mark Reynolds, Provost at Houston Baptist University, Great Books wonk, and author of Chasing Shadows: Back to Barterra, rocked my world by blowing up several of my ideas of what constitutes Harry Potter canon with apt and piercing references to Plato, Calvin & Hobbes, as well as the inevitable Star Trek and LOTR notes. His comments about the future of fandom, in academia and elsewhere, are stunning in their simplicity, which ring of truth alone justifies your listening in.

For Dr. Sturgis, click here. For John Mark Reynolds, visit this MuggleNet page. And stay tuned — I’m working on discussions on Harry Potter and Psychology with Dr. Louise Freeman and on the Political Science of the Saga with Georgetown’s Daniel Nexon. Onward and upward!

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