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Welcoming the Potter Pundits

Posted by: Melissa
August 29, 2009, 08:00 PM

In the next PotterCast, our Harry Potter podcast, we will be introducing a new segment and several new voices to the show. The Potter Pundits will be providing a scholarly, yet entertaining, look at the themes and symbolism in Harry Potter. We're excited to share it with you! Please join us in welcoming them!

Travis Prinzi (books/website) is a popular author and speaker on the intersection of fantasy and politics, myth and culture, in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels. He has been a featured speaker and led panel discussions at five Harry Potter conferences, and has lectured on everything from Harry Potter to religion to education to hit TV shows like The Office at university campuses and libraries in the United States and Canada. He collects and edits the best in Harry Potter scholarship each year for Zossima Press's Hog's Head Conversations: Essays on Harry Potter, the first volume of which was published in July 2009. Prinzi also writes and moderates an ongoing Potter conversation at as well as through PubCast. Prinzi holds graduate degrees in education and theology from the University of Rochester and Northeastern Seminary. He lives in Rochester, NY, with his wife, Tricia, daughter, Sophia, and his dog, Moses. For more, including a speaking schedule, visit

James W. Thomas
(books) is Professor of English at Pepperdine University, where he has taught since 1981. For many years he has done scholarly work, primarily in 20th-century American Literature. He has published a number of articles and reviews, along with Lyle Saxon, A Critical Biography, and has taught courses on Edgar Allan Poe, William Faulkner, contemporary American poetry, and American short stories. Over the past few years Dr. Thomas has spoken at Harry Potter conferences in Dallas, Toronto, and San Francisco, ad has been interviewed by NPR, several newspapers, and TIME magazine regarding the Potter books. Since the fall of 2006, he has taught a number of Pepperdine students in his university classes on the Potter series. He is the author of Repotting Harry Potter: A Professor's Book-by-Book Guide for the Serious Re-reader, published in January 2009 by Zossima Press. He lives in Westlake Village, CA, with his wife, with whom he has three children and four grandchildren.

John Granger (books/website) has recently been called "The Dean of Harry Potter Scholars" by Author of four books on the Hogwarts adventures (The Deathly Hallows Lectures and Harry Potter's Bookshelf among them), Granger has been a featured speaker at eight Harry Potter fan conferences in North America, including LeakyCon 2009. He has lectured at major colleges and universities, including Yale, Princeton, Pepperdine, Baylor, Biola/Torrey, Washington&Lee, Penn and the University of Chicago. His views on Harry Potter have been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as on CNN, A&E, MSNBC and close to 100 radio talk show programs. Granger is an honors graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and the University of Chicago. He was also a finalist in the 2006 Witch Weekly "Most Winning Smile" contest, house-elf division. John lives with his wife, Mary, and their seven Harry-loving children in Pennsylvania. He frequently speaks at schools, libraries, conventions and churches; please contact the Penguin Speakers Bureau for dates and scheduling information.

Tune into the next PotterCast for the first segment!

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111 Points

this sounds so cool…….ive gotta remember to subscribe for my ipod :)

Posted by lUnA jAnE on August 30, 2009, 08:33 AM report to moderator
74 Points

Weeeee exciting! Out of the three, I must say I’ve never heard of James W. Thomas. Can’t wait to get to know him, then!

Posted by Miss Fawcett on August 30, 2009, 09:08 AM report to moderator
775 Points

I’m so excited I’ve wanted a segment like this for a long time. Can’t wait!

Posted by JenniferLeigh on August 30, 2009, 09:33 AM report to moderator
134 Points

sounds really intriguing! looking forward to this… Pottercasters on a roll!!

Posted by silviaelisa22 on August 30, 2009, 09:51 AM report to moderator
534 Points

Look at all those Very Important People! I’m delighted that we are getting scholarly discussions, and even more so by experts on the field.

Posted by Bell Dema [FTC!!!] on August 30, 2009, 10:21 AM report to moderator
155 Points

I love this idea!! I am one of those that loves the intellectual debates and analysis of the books. Can’t wait!!

Posted by wandless witch on August 30, 2009, 10:39 AM report to moderator
553 Points


I heard these guys speak at Azkataz in San Fransisco – excellent. Should be a great addition to PotterCast :)

Posted by Truckles {OoM4} on August 30, 2009, 10:56 AM report to moderator
2408 Points

YES YES YES YES, thank you thank you thank you, the Ravenclaw in me has been missing this kind of Harry Potter discussion that used to be rampant on PotterCast. Yes thank you PotterCast- you’re all genius. Cannot wait for this, excellent idea guys!

Posted by KiwiMcI on August 30, 2009, 11:14 AM report to moderator
272 Points

Sounds great! can’t wait to hear it.

Posted by TheGriff [ROAR!] on August 30, 2009, 11:22 AM report to moderator
2538 Points

This is excellent! Thank you Leaky and Welcome Potter Pundits!!

Posted by Mrs.Brisby on August 30, 2009, 11:29 AM report to moderator
2538 Points

Wow, I’m kind of in shock that you pulled this together…. but then again you are the same people that got JKR on the show! I’m so excited for this!

Posted by Mrs.Brisby on August 30, 2009, 11:30 AM report to moderator
2168 Points

cool. sounds great

Posted by MaggieNoise on August 30, 2009, 11:36 AM report to moderator
53 Points

Sweet, this is awesome!! Can’t wait!

Posted by Maggie on August 30, 2009, 11:38 AM report to moderator
188 Points

Cool, a new segment. Just when is the next PotterCast???


Posted by Werewolves Rule on August 30, 2009, 11:40 AM report to moderator
3455 Points

awesome! we were gong over all this in my English Honors class at school! and my teacher loves Harry Potter (who doesnt think its the greatest peice of liturature ever?) and i was just thinking of reading the books for the umteenth time and looking for symbolism and such! so yeah!

Posted by Catherine ( *SQUEE!*) on August 30, 2009, 12:32 PM report to moderator
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