99 episodes

In the hallowed halls of Potterversity, hosts Katy McDaniel (Marietta College) and Emily Strand (Mt. Carmel College and Signum University) explore the Harry Potter series and wider Wizarding World from a critical academic perspective with scholars from a variety of fields, finding new ways to read and opening new doors. Made in association with http://MuggleNet.com.

Potterversity: A Potter Studies Podcast Potterversity with MuggleNet.com

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 43 Ratings

In the hallowed halls of Potterversity, hosts Katy McDaniel (Marietta College) and Emily Strand (Mt. Carmel College and Signum University) explore the Harry Potter series and wider Wizarding World from a critical academic perspective with scholars from a variety of fields, finding new ways to read and opening new doors. Made in association with http://MuggleNet.com.

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

    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. Only the first three Potter books had been released when the first volume was compiled; 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. From its early days, the field has extended beyond literary studies 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.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Potterversity Episode 51: Music and Fantasy in the Harry Potter Franchise

    Potterversity Episode 51: Music and Fantasy in the Harry Potter Franchise

    Get swept away by the cinematic sounds of the Wizarding World.

    We're joined by musicologist Dr. Daniel White (University of Huddersfield), who has a new book about the music of two major fantasy franchises, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. He talks about the musical foundation laid by John Williams in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and how subsequent composers built off his work both within the Harry Potter series and continuing into the Fantastic Beasts films.

    Dan applies music theory to unpack what makes "Hedwig's Theme" so iconic and how it contributes to worldbuilding and evokes nostalgia. We look at the tone shifts between films and the recurring musical motifs that change throughout the series. Dan tells us about his methodology for analyzing film music, including ethnographic research interviewing audiences about their reactions and conversations with composers and music supervisors for video games, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks.

    The theme parks offer an interesting blend of diegetic (in-universe) music, like Celestina Warbeck and the Hogwarts frog choir, and non-diegetic background music from the soundtracks. Fans have of course made their own Potter-inspired music in the form of wizard rock. While the music of Lord of the Rings is more epic in scale, covering different regions, races, and communities, Harry Potter tends to focus more on individual characters, their relationships, and more specific locations. Both share a theme of home and have become homes for audiences, inspiring the subtitle of Dan's book, The Music of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings: Sounds of Home in the Fantasy Franchise.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Potterversity Episode 50: Teaching, the Hogwarts Way

    Potterversity Episode 50: Teaching, the Hogwarts Way

    In the last of our episodes featuring contributors to our book, Potterversity: Essays Exploring the World of Harry Potter, take a look at two very different teachers: Albus Dumbledore and Dolores Umbridge.

    Our guests are Dr. M'Balia Thomas (University of Kansas) and Dr. Brent Satterly (Widener University), whose chapters focus on Hogwarts professors. Both found ways to connect with students through Harry Potter and saw examples of what to do and what not to do as a teacher by looking at the Hogwarts faculty. They consider what it means to see teachers through the student perspective in the series but also get an inside look at certain teachers, such as Lupin and Snape, that show us their humanity and give us a sense of compassion toward educators we may forget to have.

    In her chapter, "Dumbledorisms: The Idiosyncratic Style of a Hogwarts Headmaster," M'Balia examines how Dumbledore's tendency to speak in aphorisms gives the impression of wisdom but doesn't necessarily connect with students. Brent shares his experience taking on Umbridge, who is the antithesis of him as a social worker, as a drag persona in "Hem Hem… I Take Umbridge with Bigotry: Using the ­Witch-in-Pink to Counter Oppression."

    While we don't get the full story of all the interactions between students and teachers at Hogwarts, the wizarding world provides opportunities to think more deeply about the context of educational situations.

    • 57 min
    Potterversity: A Harry Potter History Holiday

    Potterversity: A Harry Potter History Holiday

    Hop on a tour of the UK this summer to see Harry Potter and more beloved works of fantasy come to life.

    On this episode, sponsored by History Bites Tours, Katy and Emily speak with History Bites founder Solomon Schmidt about the literary-inspired tour of England and Scotland he'll be leading in July. Solomon is the author of eight books in his History Bites series and host of the History Bites YouTube channel. In addition to his interest in history, he incorporates his love of fantasy literature, including Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia, into his travel itineraries to take fans to relevant landmarks.

    In just eight days, Solomon will lead fans through London, Oxford, Edinburgh, and more to discover sites of significance to Lewis, Tolkien, and Rowling, as well as filming locations for the Harry Potter movies. From Platform 9 3/4 to the Hogwarts Express, the tour lets travelers immerse themselves in fantasy, visiting the pubs and cafes the writers frequented and breathtaking natural and historic wonders. We've previously discussed the transcendent experience of Harry Potter fan pilgrimages, and this tour offers just that opportunity.

    Check out the History Bites website for more information on registering for the trip of a lifetime.

    • 50 min
    Potterversity Episode 49: Playing Potter

    Potterversity Episode 49: Playing Potter

    We're in for a bit of fun as we look at games in the wizarding world and using games to bring the wizarding world to the classroom.

    Katy and Emily are joined by two more contributors to our book, Potterversity: Essays Exploring the World of Harry Potter. Laurie Beckoff, our producer, and Tison Pugh, Pegasus Professor of English at the University of Central Florida and author of Harry Potter and Beyond, both wrote chapters about games, with Laurie looking inside the series and back at medieval literature, while Tison looked outside the series at how to apply games in his Harry Potter course.

    Both Laurie and Tison come from a medievalist background, so we discuss the connections between Harry Potter and the Middle Ages, particularly magic and quests. They also see games - such as tournaments, Quidditch, and chess - as playing a significant role in both medieval romance and Potter, especially when it comes to character development, moving the plot along, and revealing the values of a society, as Laurie discusses in her chapter, "It's All Fun and Games Until...: Leisurely and Competitive Pursuits in Harry Potter and Chivalric Romance."

    In Tison's chapter, "Gamifying the Harry Potter Studies Classroom," he explains how he uses a House Cup tournament to engage his students, bringing team building and a bit of healthy competition into an educational environment. We look at performance in both chapters - how wizards and knights develop reputations and respond to their audiences as well as how Tison's students take on the traits associated with their Houses - and how power structures come into play or can be subverted.

    • 42 min
    Potterversity Episode 48: Self and Others

    Potterversity Episode 48: Self and Others

    On this episode, two more contributors to our book talk about their chapters on equality, inclusion, and compassion.

    Travis Prinzi and Mark-Anthony Lewis join Katy and Emily to discuss how the wizarding world serves as a lens through which to understand the social ethics of our own world, particularly amid racial tensions and diversity. Travis's chapter, "The Problem with Loving Enemies: Kindness and Oppression in 'The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,'" and Mark-Anthony's chapter, "Uncle Remus's Shack: Tokenism in the Wizarding World," both examine how we respond to people who are different from us.

    For Travis, studying critical race theory in education while rereading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in preparation for the release of the final book made him see systemic prejudice in the wizarding world in new ways. It was house-elf slavery and the discussions around it that made Mark-Anthony think deeply about how their oppression came about.

    Travis sees the seemingly simple fairy tale of "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot" take on completely new meaning when put in the historical context Dumbledore provides in The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Mark-Anthony applies W.E.B. Du Bois's idea of "twoness" to magical minorities, some of whom have a literal "twoness" as hybrid beings like centaur and merpeople.

    How can we use the wizarding world to find solutions to the challenge of social and racial equality in our own world? For a start, we can confront our fear of the unknown and embrace the freedom to be wrong - and learn from it.

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

Kimira VP ,

Niffler-approved

One of the best HP pods out there - it’s intellectual, captivating, easy to listen to, overall an excellent show. Even my Niffler is a fan. Keep up the great work!

TheSteveOfRock ,

Great Podcast

Overall, this is a phenomenal podcast if you can get past the episodes featuring heavy contributions by John Granger. His spastic stammering, constant interrupting of guests, and condescension and dismissal of anyone who is not as severely religious as he is are absolutely unbearable. He’s absolutely insufferable and detracts from every episode he is in

PubCaster ,

My favorite

I’ve been writing books and essays and editing collections of works on Harry Potter for 15 years. This is my favorite Potter podcast. Don’t miss it!

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