“Reading, Writing, Rowling” Episode 4: “Amy H. Sturgis: Fantasy, Imagination, and Indigenous Futurism”
J.K. Rowling has made important errors in her portrayals of Native Americans on Pottermore and in the first Fantastic Beasts film, but the Harry Potter stories nevertheless speak to the indigenous North American experience in a metaphorical way and also open up possibilities for indigenous science fiction and fantasy exploration.
In this episode, Katy, John, and their guest, Dr. Amy H. Sturgis (of Lenoir–Rhyne University and the Hugo Award-winning StarShipSofa podcast), discuss J.K. Rowling’s work as it relates to Native American culture and indigenous writing. Why does J.K. Rowling represent Native American populations as she does? How might we see the Harry Potter novels as an inspiration for “imagining better” fantasy literature with indigenous people at their heart?
Dr. Sturgis helps us understand the impact of everything from the Ilvermorny Houses to Dumbledore’s mother’s apparent Native American ancestry and also emphasizes the important, vibrant work being done among the “indigenerds,” who, from an indigenous perspective, engage with and write science fiction and fantasy literature today. Whether this is an issue that is new to you or one dear to your heart, you will find new insights (and new authors!) in our discussion.