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“MuggleNet Academia” Lesson 27: “Billywigs, Bowtruckles, and Basilisks – Harry Potter’s Fantastic Beasts” is now available for download

“MuggleNet Academia” Lesson 27: “Billywigs, Bowtruckles, and Basilisks – Harry Potter’s Fantastic Beasts” is now available for download

MuggleNet Academia returns with an incredible show that jumps right into the heart of fantastic beasts as found within the Harry Potter books and movies as well as the textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

In this lesson, John Granger and I are joined by Dr. Melissa Aaron of California Polytechnic University, Pomona and biology/zoology instructor Jason Crean of Lyons Township High School, St. Xavier University, and Aurora University in Illinois.

In this lesson we discuss:

  • Magical, mythical, and real fantastic beasts.
  • The significance of unicorns, dragons, and werewolves.
  • Fantastic beasts that we hope make an appearance in the highly anticipated Fantastic Beasts film series.
  • How does Rowling differ in her dragons and werewolves from traditional literature?

MuggleNet Academia is a comprehensive insight into the literary thematic elements and scholastic endeavors that author J.K. Rowling has provided in her writings of the Harry Potter series. We look through the entire Harry Potter series for various elements in alchemy, literary components, and composition attributes, as well as available classes at universities and colleges around the world and various unique studies that are being implemented today.

To listen to the show and discover more insight into the fabulous literature of author J.K. Rowling, download this lesson RIGHT HERE, or head on over to iTunes. You can also listen directly from Facebook or simply click the “play” button in the image above.

Please give us a rating and review of the show on iTunes. Your feedback is very important to us.

For information on the lessons, professors, news in the academic world, or some of the great Harry Potter reference books, head on over to the MuggleNet Academia section.

Enjoy the show!

Special Guests

Special Guests

  • Dr. Melissa Aaron
  • Jason Crean

Dr. Melissa Aaron

Professor in the Dept. of English and Foreign Languages at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, CA

Melissa D. Aaron is a Professor in the Dept. of English and Foreign Languages at Cal Poly Pomona. She received her Ph.D from UW-Madison in Renaissance dramatic literature. She is the author of Global Economics: An institutional economic history of the Chamberlain’s/King’s Men and their plays, 1599- 1642, (University of Delaware Press, 2005). Her research is on Shakespeare and economics and all-women Shakespeare companies. In the Harry Potter fandom, Professor Aaron, aka “Moonyprof,” has developed a specialty in werewolves. She represented Professor Lupin at the “Hogwart’s Best: Teacher of the Year” panel at LUMOS in 2006, and has given several papers on Lupin and werewolves: “’Said He Was a Wolf: Professor Lupin meets the Duchess of Malfi,” The Witching Hour, 2005; “The Way of the Wolf: Werewolves, (Mis)Representation, and Mental Illness” Prophecy, 2007; “New Moon, Full Moon, Wolfsbane Potion and Fursploding Boys: werewolves in the Harry Potter books and the Twilight saga,” Azkatraz, 2009; “My, what big eyes you have: Lupin, Greyback, and the modern werewolf revival,” Infinitus, 2010; and “The Werewolf Renaissance, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Moon,” Ascendio, 2012. She currently teaches a Harry Potter course at Cal Poly Pomona and regularly gives talks in the Southern California area.

Jason Crean

Biology Instructor/ Zoology Consultant

Jason Crean is a biologist who wears many hats. Jason is a biology instructor at the high school and university level and a curriculum designer and instructor at Brookfield Zoo. He has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching by President Obama in 2009, the 2010 High School Science Teacher of the Year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as awards from the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers and the Illinois Science Teachers Association. He authored several curricula, including the award-winning Zoo Genetics curriculum (www.xy-zoo.com) and Harry Potter Biology curriculum (harrypotterbiology.com), and was recently awarded the Teacher of Distinction award by the Golden Apple Foundation. He serves as Vice-President of the Illinois Science Teachers Association, Vice-President for the Illinois Association of Biology Teachers, and sits on the Board for the Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching and the National Science Advisory Panel.

Transcript Coming Soon

Transcript Coming Soon


Keith Hawk (KH)
John Granger (JG)
Dr. Melissa Aaron (MA)
Jason Crean (JC)

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