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Harry Potter's World: Talks and Demonstrations

The full schedule of events for the Harry Potter's world series, information on the exhibits, recommended reading lists, and more!

Scheduled Lectures and Demonstrations

 Potions Lecture - "What If Magic Were Real?: Modern Technology, Love Potions, Veritaserum, Elixirs of Life, Liquid Luck, and Liquid Death"
Thursday, September 3rd  •  7:30 pm  •  Scholes Library Second Floor Classroom
Dr. John D'Angelo
With rare exceptions (like polyjuice potion), potions with the capabilities of those in Harry Potter exist in real life. Other forms of “magic,” such as summoning spells, the Imperius Curse, and even flying are not 100% fiction. Together, we will journey through some descriptions and explanations of some of the “magic” that surrounds us daily, and which we rarely notice.

 Herbology Lecture - "Counteracting Spells Using Classic Chinese Herbal Formulas"
Thursday, September 10th  •  7:30 pm  •  Herrick Library Seminar Room
Kevin Ferst
We will investigate several spells from the world of Harry Potter through the prism of Chinese Medicine and offer up classical Chinese formulae as the antidote.

 Herbology Lecture - "How to Identify Plants"
Sunday, September 13th  •  4:00 pm  •  Scholes Library Second Floor Classroom
Dr. Cheryld Emmons
Herbology 101 is a hands-on workshop in which students will learn how to identify plant species.

 Muggle Studies Lecture - "But It'll be Fascinating to Study Muggles from the Wizarding Point of View!"
Sunday, September 20th  •  4:00 pm  •  Herrick Library Seminar Room
Dr. Beth Johnson
Hermione’s opinion on why she should want to take Muggle Studies, even though she’s Muggle-born, still resonates outside the Harry Potter World.  Here, our magic is science, and social science has been researching the impact of the Harry Potter series on readers’ attitudes and behavior since the series established itself as a cultural icon. For example, psychologists have found that reading Harry Potter books reduces people’s prejudice toward disadvantaged people and minority groups. This talk will share some of the amazing findings from studies on the Muggle fans of the books and invite listeners to participate in discussion of the implications of those discoveries.  

 Care of Magical Creatures Demonstration - "Harry Potter's Owls"
Thursday, September 24th  •  7:30 pm  •  Nevins Theater
Hawk Creek Wildlife Center
What child (or adult, for that matter) has seen the Harry Potter movies and not been enchanted by the owls as they grace the screen? There’s just something about their silent flight and agility that leaves people wanting more! Here’s your chance to meet three fascinating owls firsthand and hear the lore and legend of these mysterious creatures. 

 Arithmancy Lecture - "Time Turners and Time Travel Are Totally True"
Sunday, September 27th  •  4:00 pm  •  Herrick Library Seminar Room
Dr. David DeGraff
The idea of time travel, and being in two places at the same time may seem to require a witch's or wizard's skill, but the laws of physics do not forbid time travel.  What are the rules of totally true time travel? What could you do, and what would be forbidden? We will also look at some actual time machines you can build in your basement (if only you could find that one missing part). 

 Defense Against the Dark Arts Workshop - "Accio Leadership Skills: Lessons in Leadership Theory from Harry Potter"
Monday, September 28th  •  12:00 pm  •  Judson Leadership Center
Ana Gauthier
This workshop will explore classic leadership theories and styles through the lens of Harry Potter, using the characters as examples of varying styles, and levels of leadership development. We will examine the Social Change Model of Leadership, the Leadership Challenge, Kohlberg’s Morality Scale, and Chickering and Reisser’s Vectors of Human Development. Brown bag lunch workshop.

 Charms Lecture - "Invisibility"
Thursday, October 1st  •  7:30 pm  •  Scholes Library Second Floor Classroom
Dr. Danielle Gagne and Dr. David DeGraff
Sneaking through the restricted section might be thrilling, but what are the other benefits of being invisible? We’ll talk about the benefits of being unseen, situations in which this is an everyday occurrence, and the science behind modern-day invisibility cloaks.  With a little magical lighting, we might cast a charm to make bowls disappear before your very eyes. 

 History of Magic Lecture - "The Hereford Mappa Mundi: Features and Creatures"
Sunday, October 4th  •  4:00 pm  •  Scholes Library Second Floor Classroom
Bridget Riley
A comparison of similarities between Harry Potter's "Maurader's Map" and the medieval "Hereford Map," as well as a discussion of some of the specific creatures and monsters and their strategic placement on the Hereford Map. 

 History of Magic Lecture - "If These Walls Could Talk"
Thursday, October 8th  •  7:30 pm  •  Steinheim Castle
Laurie McFadden
Reminiscent of the observant and talkative paintings in Hogwarts, University Archivist Laurie McFadden will give a history of the campus castle (Steinheim) and delve into some of the campus ghost stories. 

 Muggle Studies Lecture - "My Patronus is Gloria Steinem: Feminism in Harry Potter"
Thursday, October 15th  •  7:30 pm  •  Judson Leadership Center
Ana Gauthier
This workshop will examine Harry Potter through the lens of feminist literary theory, as well as examine the actions of the characters to see where they displayed feminist ideals of equity and equality.  Come find out how your favorite characters truly were champions of equality, and who will take home the feminist house cup!

Subject Guide

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