Podcast on ‘The Alchemical Harry Potter’

From the podcast blurb on AudioBoom:

Emily and Katy talk with Dr. Anne Mamary (Monmouth College) about her anthology The Alchemical Harry Potter: Essays on Transfiguration in J.K. Rowling’s Novels (McFarland 2021). We talk about the power of the Potter books and films, and how they not only express alchemical themes but also work a kind of alchemical magic on readers and viewers.

Anne explains that alchemy is a way to transform not only metals but also the alchemist and our entire worldview. Although we could look at nature from a modernist perspective, requiring the neutrality of the experimenter and presuming a mechanical model of the universe, alchemy requires being open to the enchantment within nature and our deep connection to it. Not all historical alchemists were Christian, but often a notion of religious or metaphysical transformation emerges through alchemical explorations of nature. Anne explains that alchemy posits that the heavenly exists within the earthly, that the sacred can be found everywhere, and we live in an enchanted world that is not just a world of machines. She sees this approach pervading the Hogwarts curriculum and the Harry Potter novels as a whole.

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