Convention Alley Announces Key Note Speakers

May 18, 2008

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

Convention Alley, the Harry Potter gathering due to be held in Ottawa, Ontario Canada in June of this year, has now announced their key note speakers. Speaking will be author John Granger, who will be presenting his piece “Unlocking Deathly Hallows: Five Keys for a Greater Appreciation of the Last Harry Potter Novel,” and Dr. Karen J. Kebarle on the topic of her forthcoming book “If Rowling says Dumbledore is Gay, is he Gay?” Registration for the event in Canada which will be held June 19-22 includes both keynote presentations as well the regularly scheduled programming and all meals. To find out more on Convention Alley, please click here.





22 Responses to Convention Alley Announces Key Note Speakers

Avatar Image says:

the homosexual issue again….........i wish i can go anyway….

Avatar Image says:

I don’t think the topic of book “If Rowling says Dumbledore is Gay, is he Gay?” relates much to the issue of homosexuality, but more to the issue of how canon are the facts that Rowling reveals that are not in the books and if how people decide to take them, accept them or not. I could be wrong though. I wish I could go to one of those conventions, they all look so interesting!

Avatar Image says:

Oh boy. Can’t people get over it ? Who cares if he’s gay, straight or bi ? He’s one of the best role models in literature, grow up. I’ve just seen that it’s a forthcoming book ? What ?! A book on whether Dumbledore’s gay ? Gosh I think we’ve crossed a line here. Can’t believe people still talk about it. And the answer’s yes, it’s her book, nobody has ever questioned anything else she’s said on interviews : why not make a book about whether or not Bill and Fleur’s children are really named like that ? Geez. What Jo told us gives us a better understanding of how horrible it must have been to confront Grindelwald and as far as I’m concerned that’s the extent of it.

Avatar Image says:

As Isabel said, I think Dr. Kebarle’s discussion on the canonicity of Dumbledore’s sexuality has less to do with the controversy around the revelation and more on whether or not its being only defined and clarified outside of the books imposes it on the books. Should fans accept it as something as credible as Dumbledore’s death at the hands of Snape, or should they be allowed to take their own interpretation that may deviate from that of the author? It is an interesting issue, and one in which the fandom continues to debate.

Personally, I think Dumbledore is gay, as it was rather, well, blatant in the seventh installment in the manner in which his relationship with Grindelwald was described. However, I support the right of fans to say that the word of J.K. Rowling isn’t binding in itself, as it was outside of the canon (for now).

Avatar Image says:

How much do we learn about Dumbledore in the 7 books and thousands of pages of information . . . and people are still hung up on one statement describing back story. Methinks it speaks volumes . . .

(Bloody ‘ell.)

Avatar Image says:

Exactly Rococofied, I agree with you completely. I also forgot to add, the title “If Rowling says Dumbledore is Gay, is he Gay?” is probably used to grab the attention of the people attending the convention, since whether people think it matters or not, Dumbledore benig gay, it’s still a controversial issue.

Avatar Image says:

Sorry, i should have elaborated on my statement. I understand perfectly that Dr. Kebarle’s discussion most likely will be on how the canon is related to Jo’s word outside the canon. I believe that is an issue anyway, whether accept it as canon or not.

Avatar Image says:

I have to say, it sounds fascinating. A friend and I often discuss this issue, and it would be neat to here Dr. Kebarle’s ideas.

I personally think that Dumbledore might be gay, but I had had ideas for a while. It’s just part of who he is, and I think that he is a great character, who happens to be gay, not a gay character.

Avatar Image says:

Is there a bio of Karen Kebarle? I mean, why is she a keynote speaker?

Avatar Image says:

I have to say, that if you get a chance to hear John Granger speak, take it. He is very interesting; a fantastic speaker! I’ve seen him speak twice, at a local Presbyterian church. He talks about Religion in the books, symbology, “literary alchemy” .... lots of stuff. A friend and I had the privelege of being sent an early copy of his FAQ for an updated version of his “Looking for God in HP” (includes book 7), and it was great. He is a great speaker. if your going, make sure to make time for this. And tell him that Beth and Karen from Paoli Pres said HI! LOL!

Avatar Image says:

When it was in the news that Rowling said what she said about Dumbledore’s sexuality, the gay-straight part wasn’t what interested me. The thing that interested me is exactly the same issue that Kebarle will probably be discussing: does an author have more authority than a reader after a book has been published? Does she automatically win every argument over interpretations of the book? Because you have to remember we’re dealing with two different things:

1) What the author has going on in her head, which is her sole property, and 2) What the author has published, which is the property of each and every reader (she’s been compensated pretty fairly)

If she leaves it open for interpretation that Dumbledore is straight, and that’s the interpretation you come away with, she can’t come along and tell you after the fact that he’s gay. Her authority ends when she decides that the final draft is complete and she sends it to the printer. Anything she left ambiguous is ambiguous forever and it belongs to us to make our own decisions. If you want to imagine Harry went on to become a professional Quidditch player, you can go right ahead. Don’t let information on the author’s website or in any of her interviews get in the way. That stuff is hers. The books belong to us.

Avatar Image says:

well said, reader. I don’t want an author of any book telling me how to interpret a story that isn’t clearly written down. I find Rowling all too often tries to stiffle the creative imagination of her readers.

Avatar Image says:

hmm… funny… I feel exactly the opposite. Whatever the author says, for me, is cannon. Its her story, her characters, her world (the same goes for any authors), so she gets to determine the course of it. We are, of course, free to use our imagination, but what’s in our heads is “AU”. LOL… that’s what fanfiction is for. ;-)

What do y’all think about her Scottish Book? What about the stuff that she puts there, that’s not in the book (ie: Deans background, DD being gay)? Does that affect how you feel about it?

I’m curious: Its an interesting subject.

Avatar Image says:

The only JK canon that I rejected was probably a trivial one. Its the future of Luna and Neville. I like to imagine that after DH, they sealed it together. I think it was a combination of the Film OOTP and DH book that drove my shipping desire for those two. So I was disappointed that Neville married a bar lady who hardly featured in the book and Luna not finding love until several years later with some unknown. Luna’s love for her friends was so strong that she had them painted on her bedroom wall. Neville and Luna lead the DA in Harry’s absence and the 2 of them took the brunt of punishment, defiantly defending other students during the military style running of Hogwarths. I felt this would have drawn them closer together as they shared this heroic sacrifice. I am hoping the DH film will actually show this with Jo’s blessing as the film makers did give a very subtle vibe of a possible future special relationship between Neville/Luna (Neville, at one time taking Luna by the hand whlle running from danger, and vice versa)

But otherwise, I love the rest of the canon that Jo offered us so far.

Avatar Image says:

I’m with you Beth A, I see it as entirely the author’s work. Besides Jo gives us canon details but leaves the interpretation of themes and underlying ideas entirely to us, hence why there are so many speakers and commentors on the novels at these conventions

Avatar Image says:

The question of what is canon is interesting, but I think John Granger also has a Christian agenda…

Avatar Image says:

reader,

right on. i agree with you, because, in the end, these are simply stories. great stories, but fictional stories nonetheless. a way to relate this might be considering the fact that you and i, and everyone else here, has 100% totally different mental images of our characters! even with verbal descriptions, everyone pictured the characters differently, everyone read lines of dialog differently (i’ve always read the bickering between ron and hermione with both of them kind of smiling whilst throwing knocks at each other: someone once threatened to beat me up on a messageboard for saying that! funny.) in the end, i like my interpretation of the characters that i grew to know over 10 years. god love the author, but if, after the fact she adds commentary i don’t necessarily agree with, i don’t feel obligated to include that commentary in my character analysis.

Avatar Image says:

Well, John Granger is definitly a Christian, and he does talk about the books from a Christian point of view, but there’s nothing wrong with that. He’s very entertaining and very informative (and he goes well beyond religion and the books). I was a little nervious the first time we heard him, fearing it would be “preachy”, but it wasnt! I was amazed at some of the things he talked about (like Snape staring into Harry’s eyes as he died, and it’s influence from Dante… I just thought it had to do with them being the same color as Lilly’s, LOL!)

He’s also an open-minded Christian. According to a story he told the first time I saw him, while he originally felt hesitant about letting his kids read HP, he decided to actually read the books himself (imagine!) and make up his own mind.

Avatar Image says:

I read the last book twice or three times before i found out Dumbledore was gay, after Rowling made that announcement i re read the book twice to try and find some kind of hint or something that made me relate to what she was saying and i really just didnt pick up on Dumbledores sexuality.

I think if Granger is addressing whether or not the reader has to go solely by what the author says, well then i think thats very interesting however i hope that Granger doesn’t only address the sole issue of Dumbledore’s sexuality because i think that would be a worn out discussion. Hoping for the best! Can’t wait to hear some of the discussions at the conference!! xx

Avatar Image says:

chel, I think your mixing up the two speakers, and what there topics are. John Granger talk is called “Unlocking Deathly Hallows: Five Keys for a Greater Appreciation of the Last Harry Potter Novel”. This talk, I believe will be about the symbolism, religion, literature… all the influences on the books, and how understanding them, can make you apreciate them all the more. He may talk of DD being gay, but it is a very short blip on his agenda (if you can go by the last time I saw him speak).

I think you might be mixing him up with the other presenter, Dr. Karen J. Kebarle, who’s topic is: “If Rowling says Dumbledore is Gay, is he Gay?”. It seems many here think this discussion will be more about “if it’s not in books 1-7, is it really cannon”.

Both will be interesting. Shame I cant go. :-(

Avatar Image says:

Um… that first line should read: I think you’re

It reminds me of that Friends episode, where Ross criticizes Rachels letter:

Ross: “for you information, Y-O-U-apostrophe-R-E is “you are”, Y-O-U-R is your!” Rachel: “I’m sure that comes in very handy when you’re home on Saturday night playing Scrabble with Monica!” Monica: “HEY!”

Avatar Image says:

I was looking for a refrence in the book for gilderoy lockharts sexuality and found him to be homosexual the way he dresses. what clues from the book can you use to determine if a character is homosexual or heterosexual?

Write a Reply or Comment

Finding Hogwarts

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.