“Potterversity” Episode 52: “The Ivory Tower, Harry Potter, and Beyond”

Get a preview of the latest Harry Potter academic anthology, featuring a diverse array of essays on the series.



We’re joined by Dr. Lana Whited (Ferrum College), editor of The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter (University of Missouri Press, 2002), one of the first anthologies focused on the series, and now the second volume, The Ivory Tower, Harry Potter, and Beyond (University of Missouri Press, 2024). Quite a bit of Potter scholarship is contained in anthologies devoted entirely to the series, possibly due in part to the historical difficulty of getting Potter studies articles accepted by academic journals, but these anthologies have helped to develop a community around the subject. The first volume came out when there were only four books; by the time of the second, Lana was able to seek out chapters not only on the full series but also Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as well as The Casual Vacancy, the Cormoran Strike books, and even The Ickabog.

The new anthology, coming over 20 years after the first, offers something of a retrospective on how far Potter studies has come. While early scholarship was mostly written by literary scholars, the field has grown to include religious, psychological, political, and scientific perspectives. Podcasts have also contributed a great deal to discourse. Of course, the author’s changing reputation has had a major impact.

Emily, Katy, and Lana discuss their respective chapters, “Parenting Models in the Potter Saga and Cursed Child: Human and Divine,” “Secrecy and Segregation in the Wizarding World’s Hidden Histories,” and “The Ickabog, Monsters, and Monstrosity,” offering a sample of the range of topics covered.

What would you like to hear more about from our podcast? Let us know! Send us an email at PotterversityPodcast@gmail.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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.