Talks, Talks, Talks: Where to Hear John Speak

4:00 pm, Monday, 16 March 2009, Princeton Theological Seminary, Stuart Hall, “Subversive Fantasy: J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter, and the Inkling Tradition”

7-9:30 pm, same night, Trinity Episcopal Church (Princeton), ‘The Grand Fantasy Ball,’ a Gala Event

6:00 pm, Wednesday, 18 March 2009, Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center (628 Twin Ponds Rd, Breinigsville, PA 18031), ‘Calories and Carbohydrates versus Communion: The Three Essential Differences between Traditional and Modern Ways of Understanding Food.’

2:30-4:00 pm, 27 March 2009, St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference, Antiochian Village, Ligonier, PA, ‘Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: The Great Books Behind the Shared Texts of Our Times

8-9:00 pm, 27 March 2009, St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference, Antiochian Village, Ligonier, PA, ‘Fostering the Life in Christ: Four Steps to an Orthodox Homeschool’

I’ll be speaking in Danielle Tumminio’s ‘Christian Theology and Harry Potter’ class at Yale’s Saybrook College as well early in April but it is a closed seminar (and I do more listening there than talking; I really do wish you all could come or that I could pod cast the conversations for you to enjoy).

10:30-11:20 am, 23 April 2009, Augustana College Convocation, Rock Island, IL, “From Muggle Lead to Spiritual Gold: The Literary Alchemy of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Novels.” (I’ll be speaking about “C. S. Lewis’ Vision and Seeing Eye” at a church in Rock Island that week as well, details to be nailed down, and at two other places in Chicago-land that weekend which I’ll post specifics for here as I learn them myself!)

Summer Conventions: I’ll be a Featured Speaker at Leaky Con 2009 in Boston, 21-24 May, where I’ll be talking about the Eyes of Deathly Hallows, at Summer School in Forks in (duh) Forks, Washington 25-28 June, where I’ll be talking about Harry’s Influence on Bella’s Tale, and at Azkatraz 2009 in San Francisco, 17-20 July, where I hope to be talking about Harry Potter’s Bookshelf because Penguin/Berkley will be rolling the book out along with the HP6 movie. Again, I will let you know details of my appearances at these events as I learn them.

A busy summer! I’m hoping I get to see you at one of the conventions or smaller venues so we can catch up.

And you can bring me to your college, library, bookstore, church, or reading group — heck, I’ll talk to your Gardening Club — by just calling Cynthia Damascos, my Speaking Agent at Orthodox Speakers Bureau. She’ll set it all up and I’m on my way!


  1. revgeorge says

    You probably want some kind of honorarium, though. Would you take payment in good beer or kittens? 🙂

  2. Taddy Porter, sir!

  3. revgeorge says

    Yeah, that’s part of Azkatraz I didn’t sign up for. I’ll just bum around Monday until it’s time for the Podcastpalooza.

  4. Arabella Figg says

    What, no kitten?

    To quote Mark Twain:

    A home without a cat–and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat–may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?
    – Pudd’nhead Wilson

    If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.
    – Notebook, 1894

    Congrats on Princeton! The Ivory Tower elite will one day be saying, “You’ve not heard of Granger? Get thee to the library, ignoramus!”

    Kitties are anything but ignorant…

  5. Arabella Figg says

    I just clicked the Azkatraz link and discovered you’ll be “in company” with our old friend Lev Grossman.


    “On Monday, July 20, we will be offering a special one-day program track focused on the impact of the Harry Potter phenomenon on business and law; this track will take place off-site at ZEUM.
    “Time Magazine’s book critic and tech writer Lev Grossman is the newest Special Guest to be added to the AZKATRAZ programming roster. Mr. Grossman has been Time’s resident writer on books and tech issues since 2002, and posts at the NerdWorld blog.
    “In January, 2009, he wrote a thought-provoking article on how the digital age has reshaped literature….
    “…And at Azkatraz, he’ll be talking about the future of publishing, the impact of the Harry Potter series on readers, reading, and the book industry, and his new novel, The Magicians, which is set to go on sale in August. And if we’re lucky, Azkatraz attendees will be among the first to get to read his new book.”

    Get that ticket now!

  6. I am really excited that you will be presenting at LeakyCon. I will be presenting as well and hopefully I will be able to make your presentation. I believe I even quoted you in my thesis!

  7. ProfessorEric says

    Quick Question: Never been to a potter convention. Any recommendations for a 40 year old professor of philosophy, father of two? Would I not enjoy Azkatraz? I am primarily interested in the talks.

  8. revgeorge says


    I’m a 43 year old Lutheran pastor, servant of 14 cats, & I’m going to Azkatraz. I’m pretty much just signed up to see the Half Blood Prince movie & for the talks. Mainly Travis Prinzi’s & John’s talks. But I’m sure there’s some others I’ll find interesting. Although I probably won’t go to the slash ones. 🙂

  9. Lily Luna, ignorance is probably bliss. Just remember it is San Francisco. Which probably ruins the ignorance. Sorry.

    I didn’t sign up for the cruise. I’m not much into Wrock, so that aspect didn’t appeal to me. I know there’s going to be a deck of the ship devoted to just food & conversation but I’m not sure I want to pay $100 or more to get in on that. I’d much rather have a tour of Alcatraz. I’ve already been past it on a boat.

  10. I’m going, too. About the same age as you, mother of two and a “retired” lawyer. I haven’t been to one of these before but I’m hoping it’s fun and look forward to meeting some of you. I’m not sure what you mean by “the slash ones,” revgeorge. Do I want to know or is ignorance bliss?

    Is anyone here going on the cruise around Alcatraz on Friday night?

  11. ProfessorEric says

    Thank you for your help RevGeorge & Lily Luna. Regards, Eric

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