“Potterversity” Episode 16: “You Can’t Over-Nerd Here”

Tune in for the latest Potter studies insights from the tenth annual Harry Potter Academic Conference!



In this special episode, Emily and Katy have an in-person roundtable with Laurie Beckoff, Kat Miller (Alohomora!), and Kat Sas about some of the exciting ideas and controversial issues raised over the course of October’s Harry Potter Academic Conference (HPAC) at Chestnut Hill College.

Fresh from the conference, we talk about media and social media “mirrors” in the wizarding world, Hogwarts as a setting of dark academia,” the Harry-Horcrux dilemma, Potter activism, and the eternal debate about Ron Weasley: hopeless or hero? Along the way, we contemplate the ever-relevant lessons of the Potterverse for us in the Muggle world, changes in the Potter fandom, public performance and reputation in the series, thing theory, and racism and oppression in the wizarding world. Who are the wizarding world media influencers? How does the Harry Potter series fit in with other macabre campus mysteries? Is Harry really a Horcrux? What about Nagini? How should we understand the flawed ideas about race and oppression expressed by characters in the books? And finally, does Harry need Ron’s friendship during his quest?

The conference stimulates us to ponder compelling ideas and quandaries at the forefront of Potter studies. If you’re looking for more Potter academia, check out Muggle Studies on MuggleNet, where Laurie has collected a bibliography of Potter studies scholarship with links.

Join us for a lively, funny, thoroughly nerdy conversation about these topics and more!

What would you like to hear more about from our podcast? We’d love to hear from you! Please send us an email at PotterversityPodcast@gmail.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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Laurie Beckoff

My Harry Potter journey began in 2000 when I was six and continued through a bachelor's thesis and master's dissertation on medievalism in the series. I'm a Gryffindor from New York City with a passion for theatre, fantasy, Arthurian legend, and science fiction.