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The World of Harry Potter (Popular Culture and the Deep Past 2017)

deadline for submissions:
November 15, 2016

full name / name of organization:
The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at The Ohio State University

contact email:

The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies invites you to join us on February 24-25, 2017, for our fourth ‘Popular Culture and the Deep Past’ extravaganza at The Ohio State University, devoted this year to the theme of Harry Potter on the 20th anniversary of the publication of J.K. Rowling’s first Potter novel.

As in past years, this event will feature a scholarly conference (featuring papers, round tables, and other academic events) nested within a Renaissance-faire-like carnival (featuring exhibits, gaming, contests, and activities of all kinds). We invite presentations on any topic related to the Potter phenomenon, ranging from literary and cinematic analyses to historical and cultural investigations, and including explorations of fantasy, magic, witchcraft, gaming, and other popular, artistic, or sociological dimensions of that phenomenon. In keeping with the CMRS mandate, we shall aim to explore historical and cultural strands that tie the Potter world to its medieval and early-modern antecedents; at the same time, we are interested in exploring the interface between the past and the present, and in paying attention to 21st-century manifestations in their own right. While the Potter world is the main focus, presentations may involve other topics that relate strongly to its literary or cultural themes. Conference presentations will generally be limited to 20 minutes’ duration, followed by 10 minutes of discussion; they will be organized thematically into sessions of three or four papers each. Other presentations, including music, dance, art, gaming, readings, and other activities or displays, will be accommodated more freely according to our resources of space and scheduling.

Please send your presentation ideas to, including a title, abstract (i.e., description), and contact information. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and attached as either a Word document or PDF. We shall begin evaluating proposals after November 15, 2016; submissions after that date will be happily received up til the time of the event, but their inclusion will depend on remaining openings in the schedule.