Thursday, October 06, 2005

Panel to catch this weekend...

It's exciting to see more and more disability studies panels on conference programs. But Kestrell gives us the heads up that she'll be part of a session this weekend that sounds like a great time:
Representations of Disability and Difference in the Harry Potter Universe
9:00 am - 10:45 am
Alicia Verlager (that's "Kestrell")
Mike Gill
Heeral Mehta-Parekh
Maria Molnar
Gotta be there? Well, get to Salem, Massachusetts, this weekend (6-10 October) for "The Witching Hour," a symposium on the Harry Potter phenomenon. Elsewhere on the program are Heather Lyda, speaking on "Harry Potter: Disability Fantasy," and Shannon White speaking on "Luna Lovegood as Holy Fool."

(I believe this is my second Harry Potter reference in this blog--maybe I should explain that I've never read or owned any of the books, and only watched one of the movies. My reading kid is still a little too young for Potterdom; but I know, I know, the day is coming... --PLR)

5 comments:

Ahistoricality said...

I suppose the muggle/magic divide could be construed as a form of disability/difference dyad, but I can't think, offhand, of a single other useful reference. I've read them all (mostly because my spouse and certain members of my family love them; I tolerate them), and this has to be a serious stretch.

Penny L. Richards said...

Hmmm, not having read them myself, I can't say in detail, but I know there's been some discussion on DS-HUM about how Hogwarts might compare to a school for the deaf, for example, where a whole culture, incomprehensible to some of the students' families, is transmitted. (Deaf kids with Deaf parents would compare to Harry's friend Ron, from a family of magicians, who arrive with much of the cultural knowledge already.)

Harry's lightning scar is a visible mark, and there's been a lot of disability studies scholarship on visibility of bodily difference. It might also hark back to the old maternal-impressions theory of etiology (a "hare lip" means mom saw a rabbit while pregnant, for example).

Probably best to check in with Kestrell or Mike Gill--they're both moderators of DS-HUM, both panelists, and could easily be persuaded to explain further...

Ahistoricality said...

Well, I posted a comment to Kestrell's site, which you linked to. Obviously she's going to be busy this weekend, but perhaps she'll get back to it at some point.

Thanks.

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