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Recently I was invited to share thoughts related to the controversial question of how J.K. Rowling has addressed Indigenous America in her two recent Pottermore works ("History of Magic in North America" and "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry") in an extended interview on MuggleNet Academia with hosts Keith Hawk and the Hogwarts Professor himself, John Granger, as well as my fellow scholar, Allison Mills of the University of British Columbia. It meant a lot to me to be a part of this important conversation.

I hope you'll check out MuggleNet Academia Lesson #51: "Harry Potter and the Indian in the Cupboard"! If you listen, I hope you enjoy.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
lizziebelle
Sep. 7th, 2016 08:32 pm (UTC)
Wow, it was interesting to hear your point of view on this. I didn't fully understand the furor over the stories, beyond the poor research Rowling apparently did (even I spotted the mishmash of Native mythology). I saw it as her trying to shoehorn the format she was familiar with onto American soil, and not getting it quite right. Which was disappointing, because as you said, she did it much better in the books.

I see this a lot in the Pagan community as well. People see what they perceive as similarities in our beliefs and customs, and then feel free to graft whatever they like onto their own. It works OK when you're talking about European mythologies, because there *was* a lot of overlap in some places, but it's not the same thing. It makes me uncomfortable to see workshops given by descendants of Europeans on "Native American" topics at Pagan festivals; again, they seem to lump them all together, as if there was one culture here before our ancestors came. There's not a whole lot of scholarship going on in our community, which is sad.

I'd love to have a conversation with you about all this! You always make me want to learn more. Thank you for sharing this!
eldritchhobbit
Sep. 8th, 2016 12:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for listening! I really appreciate your taking the time to check out the show and comment on it. You've made my day.

I see this a lot in the Pagan community as well. People see what they perceive as similarities in our beliefs and customs, and then feel free to graft whatever they like onto their own.

Oh, that's a very useful parallel. From my (albeit limited) experience, I see what you mean.

I'd love to talk more about this with you, too! Drop me a line if you'd ever like to email more about this or chat by phone. Thanks again!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )