I read books to experience new places, new people and different lifestyles. Reading transports me to the characters’ world where I get lost in their lives. I often forget that the literary world I am in is only real between my ten fingers. Often after reading, I have to wonder if other people have experienced the book as I have just experienced it. Reading an engaging book makes me wonder who else has traveled to distant made up places, met different people and experienced magic all while sitting in a cozy chair?
At the Spellbound Festival, organizers wonder the same thing. They want to talk about shared experiences they never knew they had in common. Who else has ideas that delve deeper than the pages themselves? Who has lived inside the pages of a book and wants to share their experience?
St. Bonaventure University invites members of the public to submit proposals sharing their passions about the Harry Potter Series. A committee will review submissions for presentations and panel discussion.
We encourage submissions from anyone who is a Harry Potter fan including scholars, educators, librarians and students. Submissions will be accepted from muggles, witches or wizards of all ages.
If you wish to submit but are having “magical” writers block, don’t cast a reducto spell at your computer just yet.
Instead, we have the alohomora to your locked mind:
- Discuss the commonalities between Harry Potter and Jesus Christ. Many believe Christianity is against Harry Potter and the magical themes it produces. Why would these people be correct? Why would these people be incorrect?
- Who do you believe to be the chosen one? Harry Potter or Neville Longbottom? How is the story actually about Neville Longbottom? What would be different if his name were the title of the series?
- Discuss the similarities between the education system of the U.S. and the education system of Hogwarts. What changes when Dolores Umbridge becomes the new headmaster? How is her reign mirrored in the education system of the United States?
- J.K. Rowling paired Ron and Hermione together in the novels, but later regrets not matching Hermione with Harry. If you were to write the ending of the novel, who would end up with whom?
- Comment on the slavery of house-elves and the similarities between their enslavement and the slavery of African Americans in our history.
- How are the actions of Voldemort and his death eaters similar to those of Hitler and his Nazis? Is the battle of mudbloods and their sympathizers similar to what the jewish population and their sympathizers endured?
- Major scenes that were looked over by the film.
- The lack of continuity of the setting between the films.
These ideas are only suggestions in the wide range of essay topics Harry Potter brings about.
Individual projects are to be no longer than 2500 words or 20/25 minutes long.
For more information about submitting a work, or about the festival in general, please visit: http://stbonavenue.com/spellbound-festival/