Edinboro Potterfest
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2018 Featured Speaker, Dr Beth Sutton Ramspeck, Breaking the Rules

2017 Featured Speaker, John Granger, Literary Technique of JK Rowling

John Granger is a speaker and writer whose principal focus is the intersection of literature, faith and culture. He is most well known as the author of numerous books analyzing J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels.

Granger served for 6 years in the US Marine Corps including postings at the Air Ground Combat Center in 29 Palms, California, and at Camp Butler, Okinawa, Japan. He is married to Mary, is a reader in the Orthodox Church, and has seven children.

Described by his publishers as "one of the leading authorities on the Harry Potter books as read in the context of English literature,” his specialist interests are iconological literary criticism, the post-modern qualities of and Rowling's use of literary alchemy and eye symbolism in the Harry Potter novels, and the allegorical and anagogical aspects of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga. In addition to How Harry Cast His Spell, Granger is the author of Unlocking Harry Potter: Seven Keys for the Serious Reader (Zossima, 2007; revised 2009), The Deathly Hallows Lectures: The Hogwarts Professor Explains Harry's Last Adventure (Zossima, 2008), and Harry Potter's Bookshelf: The Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures (Penguin, 2009).

He has been a featured speaker at Harry Potter conferences in Orlando, Las Vegas, Toronto, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Illinois, San Francisco, and Ottawa in addition to giving talks and classes on symbolist literature and iconological criticism at schools and other venues around the US. Granger has been a guest speaker at the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University, California, Pepperdine, Washington & Lee, La Salle, Cornell, Penn, Yale, University of Chicago, Baylor, the New York C. S. Lewis Society, New York Public Library, and the Past Watchful Dragons C. S. Lewis Conference. He has given more than 100 radio, newspaper, and television interviews.

2016 Featured Speaker: Dr Jenn Sims, Sociology of Harry Potter

2015 - Ravenclaw Educators' Workshop


James Howells has been a fourth grade teacher of math and science at Springfield Elementary for 14 years. He lives in Springfield with his wife and five children. His hobbies are many and include soccer, acting, and fossil hunting. He has done theater at the Erie Playhouse and has done writing for some local commercials. He directs a yearly youth theater production as well as teaches youth theater classes in the summer…when he has time!

Mr. Howells is actually second cousin on his mother’s side to the now famous Arthur Weasley. He shares his cousin’s love of muggle studies and has been under cover in the muggle world for the past 20 years teaching muggle children. Mr. Howells theorizes that muggle children are ALL born magical and slowly lose this magic over time (perhaps to a strange device muggles call, “diapers,” devices they put on their infants too…Well, it is just a little too disgusting to tell you what they are actually used for…so we won’t…but let’s just say it’s really gross and there is nothing magical about them at all!) Without breaking Wizarding laws, Mr. Howells endeavors to show muggle children that magical things are all around them in the areas of science, imagination, math, and literature…His hope is that children everywhere can grow up and enjoy the magical worlds of their imagination regardless of their bloodline.

Through the Pensive: Participants will be engaged in 3 interactive segments entitled, Potions, Divination, and Transfiguration. Opportunities to experience a brief look at read alouds, along with demonstration tips and pointers for bringing story characters alive will be provided. Magic tricks and acting exercises will help participants in their quest to amaze friends and family.




2014 Conference Schedule

CORN MAZE, Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm, all September and October

Sunday, Oct 12th:

  • Noon - 1 & 2-3, BALLOON TRANSFIGURATION & HP STORY READING FOR KIDS , Barnes & Noble, Erie

Monday, Oct 13th:

  • 1:00-4:00pm, Face painting by Stonestreet, Earthshine
  • 6:00 pm, Harry Potter Musical Parody Skits, Cole Auditorium, EU campus
  • 7:30 pm, Edinboro premier showing of the new film, Mudbloods, Cole Auditorium
  • All Day, Corn Maze, Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm

Tuesday, Oct 14:

  • 4 pm, Harry Potter story reading for kids, Edinboro Public Library
  • 6 pm, Harry Potter Musical Parody Skits, Cole Auditorium, EU campus
  • All Day, Corn Maze, Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm

Wednesday, Oct 15:

  • 7 pm, Potterbowl Trivia Contest (3 age groups), Pogue Center, Multipurpose Room, EU campus
  • All Day, Corn Maze, Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm
  • 7:30-9:30, "A Night of Spiritual Readings" at Eclectic Etceteras Coffeehouse. The spiritual readings fee is $20 in advance or $25 at the door. There will be 3 mediums, some of whom are from Lillydale.

Thursday, Oct 16:

  • Afternoon and evening, The Ravenclaw Academic Conference (professors and students presenting papers)
  • Corn Maze, Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm

Friday, Oct 17:

  • 9:30 - 3:00, Butterbeer server at Eclectic Etceteras
  • 4:00 pm, triwizard Cup event #1, Corn maze challenge, Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm
  • 4:00-6:00, Wiley 117 Wiley 107 ,Ravenclaw Conference (professors and students presenting papers)
  • 5:00 pm, The Keynote Address by Dr Lana Whited of Ferrum College: "Post Potter Reflections”
  • 6:00 pm, Potterfest Banquet, (for Ravenclaw and Potterfest participants), Van Houten Dining Hall, EU Campus
  • 7:30 pm, Triwizard Cup Event #2, Haunted Path, Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm
  • 7:30 pm, Harry Potter Movie Music, EU Student Orchestra, Cole Auditorium, EU campus
  • 8:00-9:15 Wiley 107 - Ravenclaw Conference continues
  • 9:00-12:00 pm, Hallows Ball, featuring Special Guest, Off Campus Activity Center, Darrow Rd

Saturday, Oct 18

  • 9:30 - 3:00, Butterbeer server at Eclectic Etceteras
  • 10:00 - 6:00, Novelties at Earthshine.
  • 10:00-12:30, Day at the Castle, Miller Center, EU campus; Registration is from 9-10
  • All Day, Discounts on antique treasures, Lake Effects Antiques.
  • All Day, corn maze and haunted path, wooden nickel buffalo farm
  • 11:00 am, Loveland Field, EU Campus QUIDDITCH Match, HOSTED BY THE EU FLYING SCOTS
  • 1 pm, Triwizard Cup Event #3, The Canoe Race, Edinboro Lake & Inlet
  • 2:00pm, QUIDDITCH WORKSHOP (WEATHER PERMITTING), Loveland Field, EU Campus



2013 Conference Schedule:

Prequel:  Salem Trip, Oct 10-13
Corn Maze fun for the family August-October at the Buffalo Farm

Schedule of Events

Corn Maze fun for the family Oct. 12-20 at the Buffalo Farm

Saturday, Oct 12

  • Noon-4:00 pm, Erie Barns & Noble: Reading by Lindsey Gearhart of
    “Tale of The Three Brothers” (the Deathly Hallows), Reading by Angelina
    Foster from
    Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, Magic show by Cale Mangold
  • 9:00 am -- 1 pm: Dog Agility Show & How to be Safe around Dogs,
    Edinboro Mall (Lakeside Commons) in honor of Fang & Fluffy
  • 7 :00pm, Triwizard Challenge Cup - Corn Maze events at the
    Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm,
    Saturday, afternoon and early evening

Sunday, Oct 13th,

  • 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Erie Barns & Noble: Edinboro Flying Scots Quidditch team members sign autographs and host a "kidditch" workshop for kids
  • Final event of the Triwizard Challenge Cup, the Canoe Race, on Edinboro Lake

Monday, Oct 14th

  • 10 a.m. Edbinboro Public Library: Headmistress Ann Marie Pochedly will do a Harry Potter reading for kids.
  • 7:00 pm, Potterbowl Trivia Contest, EU campus, Pogue Center multipurpose room, registration at 7-7:30 pm, contest begins at 7:30 pm

Tuesday, Oct 15th

  • 7:30 pm, A Very Potter Musical (mini version), Diebold Performing Arts Center, EU campus

Wednesday, Oct 16th

  • 5:30-7:00 pm, Polyjuice Transformations sponsored by Empyrean Day Spa and Salon Face painting, funky hair extensions and temporary tattoos, in front of Diebold Center
  • 7:30 pm, A Very Potter Musical (mini version), Diebold Performing Arts Center, EU campus

Thursday, Oct 17th

  • 5:30-7:00 pm, Polyjuice Transformations sponsored by Empyrean Day Spa and Salon Face painting, funky hair extensions and temporary tattoos, in front of Cole Auditorium
  • 7:30 pm, Movie music of Harry Potter performed by the Edinboro student orchestra and chorale (directed by Professors Gary Grant and Peter van den Honert), Cole Auditorium, EU campus
  • 3rd Annual Ravenclaw Academic Conference, Wiley, EU campus

Friday, Oct 18th

  • Ravenclaw Conference continues, Wiley, EU campus
  • 8:00 - 9:00 pm, Magician performs, (EU campus site to be announced)
  • 9:00-12:00 pm, Hallows Ball, Crawford Gym, EU campus

Saturday, Oct 19th

  • Mid-late morning until Mid-late afternoon, Flying Scots quidditch exhibition , EU campus, field behind Doucette and in between the Music bldg, Loveland, and Crawford

2012 Schedule:

Thursday, October 18

5-6 pm “Safe Havens in Harry Potter”, A. Gruber, Edinboro University, Wiley117

Dinner Break

7:15-8:15 “Gender Privilege” Dr Stephen Sullivan, Edinboro University  Wiley 117


8:30- 10 pm Care of Magical Creatures session  Wiley 117 

Dr Irene Fiala, Edinboro University, "When the Magic is Gone: Harry Potter, Fans and Owls"

“Wizarding and Animal Welfare,” Dr Joel Garver, La Salle University


Friday, October 19

 3:30-4:15   Heidi Weinelt, Edinboro University, reading her original short story, “Draco Meet Luna, A True Love in the Making”  Wiley 117

 4:30-5:45 Keynote Address: “The Wizarding World Hidden in Muggle History,” Dr Janice Liedl, Laurentian University, Canada  Wiley 117

Banquet    6-7:15 pm, Van Houten Dining Hall


7:30 – 10 pm   Human Rights Issues in Harry Potter session  Wiley 117

“Why the Imperious Curse Is Unforgivable,” Dr Beth Sutton Ramspeck, Ohio State-Lima

George Cox, Ohio State-Lima, “Is the Racism in the Harry Potter Series Harmless?”

Kristen Dennis, Ohio State-Lima, “On Confinement: Harry Potter and the Manifold Dungeon”

 Natalie Allen, Ohio State-Lima, “House-elves: Blissfully Unaware of Opportunity”




2011 Schedule:

Ravenclaw* Conference 2011 Schedule: Oct 20-22

Edinboro University

Pogue (student) Center


Students free, General Public Admission Fee:  $5

Thursday, Oct 20

Conference Registration Lobby area:  2:30 -3:30



S.P.E.W. (Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare Session)

Room 310

 “White Privilege,” by Dr Stephen Sullivan, Edinboro University

(Moderator:  Dr E. Wrehwilson)

 [S.P.E.W. will always be reserved for a discussion of some issue regarding bias, discrimination and social justice.]



(Philosophers’ Stone Session)

1st floor Seminar Room

 *** “How Alchemy Became Chemistry” an invited lecture by Dr Tom Falasca, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine ***

(Moderator:  Dr C Fowler)

[The Philosophers’ Stone session will always be reserved for a discussion of the history of magic, healing, and science.]




7-8:30 two concurrent sessions

***Session on Age and Guile, Music and Magic in Harry Potter***

1st floor Seminar Room­­­

 “Age and Guile: Manufactured Youth in the Cinematic Adaptations of Harry Potter,” Dr Jim Wertz, Edinboro University

“Harry Potter Music, Muggles & Magic,” Dr Daniel Burdick, Edinboro University

(Moderator:  Dr Tim Cordell)

***Session on the Good Killer Snape and the “British-ness” of Harry Potter***

Room 310 

 “How Snape Became a Good Guy by Killing Dumbledore!” Dr Renata Wolynec, Edinboro University

 “The “British-ness” of Harry Potter,” Professor Armorel Gruber, Edinboro University

(Moderator:  Prof A Frantz-Mamani)


Friday, Oct 21

Conference Registration:  2-3 pm Lobby area

3-4 pm

Room 310

***“Using Herbs, Plants, and Potions to Improve the Quality of Life,” Emmanuel Taiwo, student at Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus***



1st floor Seminar Room

***Keynote address by Dr Greg Bassham, Chair & Professor of Philosophy, King’s College, Pennsylvania***


6-7:30 Potterfest Banquet (Multipurpose Room)

* In the Harry Potter Hogwarts School, the House of Ravenclaw stood for the virtues of intellect, study, and research.

8-9:30 pm two concurrent sessions

***Creativity, Libraries and Censorship***

Room 310

 “Ambivalent Portrayal of Creativity in the Harry Potter Series,” Dr Beth Sutton-Ramspeck, Associate Professor of English, Ohio State University at Lima

 “Restricted Section: The Library as Presented in Harry Potter,” Elizabeth Richardson (Assistant Professor, University Libraries) and Sarah Wagner, “ (Masters Degree candidate in Library & Information Science), Kent State University

(Moderator:  Prof D Obringer)

***Christ-like Characters in Harry Potter***

Room 303 B


Is Harry Christ-like?  Jennifer Amann, Gannon University student


Is Dumbledore Christ-like?  Sylvia Gossard, Ohio State University-Lima student

(Moderator:  Dr C Fowler)

Oct 22

Saturday Registration

Lobby area

8-8:30 a.m.


Saturday morning Oct 22   

8:30-10two concurrent sessions

***Session on the Strong Character of Severus Snape

Room 310

 “Snape & Heathcliff,” Tia Ruark, Ohio State University-Lima student

“Snape’s Subversive Masculinity,” Leslie Newport, Ohio State University-Lima student

(Moderator: Dr B Sutton-Rasmpeck)


***Hermione & Sirius as Heroes***

Room 303 B

“Hermione:  The Great Architect,” Sheila Gross, graduate student in English, Gannon University

“A Sirius Subject,” Katherine Kleffner, student at Ohio State University-


(Moderator:  Dr L Williams)


***Orwell, Big Brother and Truth in the Mirror

Room 303 B***


 “Orwellian themes in Harry Potter,” Stephanie Smith, student at Gannon University


“Looking for Truth in the Mirror,” Sarah Scott, Ohio State University-Lima student

(Moderator:  Dr B Sutton-Ramspeck)



Room 310

*** “The Journey of Harry Potter and its Relation to Classic Literature,” Bonnie Huckaby, student at Ohio University***

(Moderator:  Dr B. Gaarden)