A Conference for Muggles

The academy seems to have finally discovered Harry Potter. And I’m not talking about any of those embarrassing incidents where my fellow academics release ‘groundbreaking’ and ‘field-defining’ monographs which unwittingly reiterate ideas Professor Granger wrote ten years ago. My news today is much more par for the academic course.

The School of  Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication, James Madison University, is hosting ‘Replacing Wands with Quills: A Harry Potter Symposium for Muggle Scholars,’ a two-day conference in November. They’ve invited proposals from scholars and enthusiasts from all disciplines and levels. Their intention seems to be to prove that academic readers care about Harry and his friend just as much as the next reader, and that no one really cares what A. S. Byatt said about the series anymore.

The deadline for proposals is 15 May, so think fast. The academy is inviting us in–is that sort of like asking Fred and George to work in a research library? Hopefully this conference, like the one in Manhattan, will help deluminate the wonderful world of Potter Studies. As the CFP itself says: ‘After all, for us muggle scholars, magic happens when we make knowledge and meaning.’

You can read the call-for-papers below the jump, or at this website.

[Read more…]