St. Andrews: The Conference at Scotland’s Oldest University

What a delight! For two full days, Potter Pundits and Professors from some of the world’s best universities met at St. Andrews University in Scotland to discuss Joanne Rowling’s Hogwarts Saga as literature, as cultural artifact, and as shared text. The presentations varied from the academically sound and profoundly boring to the academically daring and nigh on inspiring — of the latter, the school actually kept the Daily Mail reporter, Rita Skeeter in a not very convincing disguise, from the room where the Racism papers were being read!

The best of the close to 50 talks are already being prepared for publication, so I won’t spill those beans here, but I can share links to 15 news stories, including some television coverage (see Mr. Pond and myself being interviewed in the Headmaster’s office! Watch ASU Prof Joel Hunter talk about the Chemistry of the Harry Potter Fairy Tale — with Prof James Thomas, Pepperdine Potter Pundit and author of two books on the series, in attendance!), below the jump. Tomorrow — the controversy about whether Harry Potter merits serious discussion and a 10 Question Interview with John Patrick Pazdziora. See you then —

The Television Coverage: STV talks with John Patrick Pazdziora and John Granger, films Profs Joel Hunter and James Thomas (the YouTube version)

The St. Andrews University Press Release: The facts — and an argument in anticipation of the nay-sayers

BBC World: The online article without mention of the three radio and television interviews they did on site

The Telegraph: Harry Potter and the Philosophers’ Conference at St Andrews University

Fife Today: Harry Potter goes to St Andrews University

Int’l Business Times – Scholars Debate Inclusion of Harry Potter as Literary Texts

Evening Standard: Rowling’s Harry Potter books to be studied as great works at St Andrews university

Scotland Courier: scholars coming to potter around St Andrews

Scotsman: Harry Potter is great literature, say academics

Newcastle Herald: Scholars serious about Potter

Examiner: Muggle Scholars Ask — ‘Can Harry Potter Be Used in School?’ Harry Potter & Literature Conference at St Andrews: A Brand of Fictional Magic

The Stand: St Andrews School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

MuggleNet: Over 60 Scholars to study ‘Harry Potter‘ novels at University of St Andrews

The Controversy: More Tomorrow —

The Daily Mail: Harry Potter as a serious academic subject? What a load of Hogwarts!

Huffington Harry Potter and the Ivory Tower: Children’s Literature and Academia

The Guardian: Harry Potter and the order of the 60 scholars gets mixed initial reception

The Telegraph – You can’t be serious about Harry Potter!

Times Higher Education: Week In Review

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