Elizabeth Warren as an Ilvermorny Teacher?
On June 28, J.K. Rowling revealed brand new information about Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Ilvermorny largely copies the structure of Hogwarts in that Ilvermorny is also a castle, has four Houses, and has boarding options. She also revealed that Ilvermorny is located in Massachusetts – the home state of Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Elizabeth Warren isn’t a stranger to Harry Potter controversy – sharing her name with Myrtle Elizabeth Warren (a.k.a., Moaning Myrtle).
In response to the new information revealed on Pottermore, Warren tweeted:
Considering earlier this year J.K. Rowling tweeted that Voldemort was “nowhere near as bad as Trump” and that “Death Eaters walk among us” in response to a controversial tweet by Trump’s spokesperson, it is possible Warren fits the bill.
J.K. Rowling has always been politically inclined toward social justice and a more leftist political stance. She has stated that she was
indebted to the British welfare state… when my life hit rock bottom, that safety net… was there to break the fall.
Her self-confessed political hero is Robert F. Kennedy, who shares some significant commonalities with Elizabeth Warren.
Robert F. Kennedy was a Democrat who hailed from Massachusetts like Warren. He was assassinated in 1968, five years after his brother, John F. Kennedy’s, assassination. Robert F. Kennedy lived during an era when civil rights were changing; he was a proponent of racial and economic justice, non-aggression in foreign policy, decentralization of power, and social improvement. Essays could be written about how these policies are reflected in Harry Potter– suffice to say; racial and economic justice was allegorized in the portrayal of house-elves and purity of blood, non-aggression in foreign policy was recognized in introduction of the Triwizard Tournament “to promote international magical cooperation,” and in reading Deathly Hallows, it becomes clear how J.K. Rowling feels about centralization of power.
Elizabeth Warren, also a Democrat, is most obviously focused on economic justice. She proposed the idea for the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, believing that:
the game [politics] is rigged… it’s rigged in favor of those who have money and who have power.
Order of the Phoenix, anyone? She has made her views known on credit card companies, mortgage lenders, and student loans providers. Whether you agree with her politics or not, there is definitely a correlation between Warren, Kennedy, and Rowling’s views on social justice and equality.
The question is: Do you think politics and fiction should mix?
Historically, there is a strong relationship between politics and fiction: Take Orwell’s 1984 or Solzhenitsyn’s A Year in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. J.K. Rowling is an author who practices what she preaches; “choosing to remain a domiciled tax payer… that is [her] idea of patriotism.” If a politician identifies with her messages of tolerance, equality, and empathy, maybe that’s a good thing.
Are there any public figures you think would make good teachers at Ilvermorny? Or should No-Maj and magical worlds be kept strictly apart?