I heard today that the folks behind the Accio 2005 Harry Potter Conference that was held in Reading 2 years ago are planning a new conference next year in Oxford, England - dear gods, I might actually be able to attend this one !
The conference, From Quidditch Flyers to Dreaming Spires: Exploring the Worldwide Influence of the Harry Potter Novels will be held at Magdalen College from 25 - 27 July 2008.
Here's what they say in the Call For Papers:
Accio 2008 will bring together academics and adult fans to discuss the Harry Potter series in the Hogwarts-like setting of the University of Oxford. The conference will be held at the beautiful Magdalen College, which still preserves its 15th century pronunciation of 'Maudele'n' and which boasts such alumni as C S Lewis and Oscar Wilde.
During the last ten years, the Harry Potter novels have made many changes to our world, including increasing reading (particularly among boys), creating a much larger interest in fan sites and fan fiction, adding words (such as 'Muggle') to the dictionary and increasing interest in science that looks like magic.
The Programming Committee is inviting proposals for paper presentations, roundtables, moderated panels, debates and workshops to evoke a lively, interesting and thoughtful discussion on the changes the Harry Potter novels have already made to our world, and on the potential for the novels to have a lasting influence.
Presentations on any topic relating to the Harry Potter phenomenon are welcome and topics may include, but are certainly not limited to:
Proposal Submissions - Deadline: 4 January 2008
You can find more information on the Accio 2008 website and there's a FAQ page as well. As usual, this conference is an unofficial event and is not endorsed or sanctioned by Warner Bros., the Harry Potter book publishers, or J K Rowling and her representatives. Note that attendees must be aged 18 or over.