International Academic Conference on Cultural Influence of Harry Potter

A call for papers from the Academic Study Magic list.

‘Magic is Might 2012′ : 23-24 July 2012, University of Limerick, Ireland

An International Academic Conference Exploring the Cultural Influence of the Harry Potter Books and Films

Hosted by the University of Limerick Department of Sociology in collaboration with the UL Interaction Design Centre, Dept. of Computer
Science and Information Systems.

Call for Papers

The Harry Potter series has become a publishing phenomenon that has captured the imagination of children and adults all over the world. The stories created by J.K. Rowling have inspired extensive multidisciplinary academic discussion, ranging from cultural and literary analyses, sociological and philosophical interpretations, design practices, to recognised medical publications.

Conferences have taken place that focused on the impact that the novels have had on the world and their educational contribution and edited collections have been produced centering on themes of philosophy, religion, sociology, and critical analysis, to name just a few. The characters’ relationships, the political and social systems, and cultural commentaries woven into Rowling’s writing are just some examples of what makes the Harry Potter series an exciting framework for academic discourse in a number of areas.

This two-day event will feature twenty 15-20 minute presentations on papers relating to popular culture and the Harry Potter series. We will encourage intensive and lively discussion and debate around the papers over the two days in this intimate setting. Wizards, muggles, established academics and postgraduate students are invited to submit papers. Post conference, full papers will be put together into a collection that will be available online.

Suggested Topics include but are in no way limited to:

- Society (both Wizard and Muggle) and its portrayal
- The Law and the Criminal System
- Government and Politics
- Gender
- Race
- Class
- Prejudice
- Relationships (sexual, friendship, the family etc…)
- Human and Non-Human Rights (werewolves, goblins, house elves,
centaurs, ghosts, Aragog, etc…)
- Bodies and Embodiment
- Education
- Conformity and Deviance
- Socialisation
- Sexuality and the Erotic
- Media, Technology and Design
- Fashion, Music and the Arts

Please submit a 300 word abstract with 100 word biographical information by 1 September 2011. All inquiries and abstracts can be emailed to

All abstracts will be reviewed for inclusion in the conference by the conference committee. Accepted papers will be notified by December 1st 2011. We will then ask for draft conference papers to be submitted. General inquiries can be made at the above email address to conference organisers, Gráinne O’Brien (University of Limerick, Ireland) Michelle Mayefske (University of Limerick,Ireland) Dr. Luigina Ciolfi (University of Limerick, Ireland) and Jadwiga O’Brien (National University of Galway, Ireland).


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