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Yours sincerely

Cay Dollerup (head of the organising committee)

This seminar is no way associated with J. K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any affiliates.



8-10 August 2008, Denmark

This is a cordial invitation to participate in an interdisciplinary and informal seminar on the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. This invitation is extended to everybody who takes a 'serious' interest in the Harry Potter books and who agrees that the books have ramifications into many aspects of human life and activities, including science.

Therefore it is in every participant's best interest that the seminar is advertised as widely as possible. Accordingly it is appreciated if you pass the word to all friends and colleagues who are interested in the books - including in other countries than your own.

J. K. Rowling is one of the most outstanding narrators in history and her books can be read at many levels and in many ways. The seminar will provide a framework for in-depth, relaxed and informal discussions and explorations of the plots, themes and moral issues, etc. in the books. This is a seminar open to all interested parties, not an exclusive 'conference' with formal papers. The format envisioned calls for brief introductions to specific themes that inspire (or provoke) discussions. There will be brief feedback sessions to make for maximum flexibility and quick changes.

The seminar will take place in quiet, pleasant and civilised surroundings that will allow for two days of relaxed and informal discussions and debates (group or plenary ones) devoted to specific topics within precise time-frames. The venue is in rural surroundings, close to an outstanding medieval church and yet with wireless Internet connection.


By participating in the Interdisciplinary Seminar on the Harry Potter Saga, you - like the organisers - accept that Harry Potter and all affiliated activities are the ownership and copyright of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros.


Participation will be limited. The minimum number of participants is 40, and the maximum 60. In case the latter number is exceeded, there will be a waiting list. If the minimum is not reached, those who have registered are notified about cancellation by e-mail by 15 May at the latest.

Everything is arranged on a 'first-come first-served' basis.

A draft of the registration form is found at the end of this posting. The full form is forwarded by e-mail by either of the organisers on request.


Registration can be undertaken from now on. Participants will be notified about details of payment (bank transfers) and about the venue when the minimum number of participants is reached.

Duration and time

The 'serious' part of the seminar will last from lunchtime Friday 8 August 2008 to lunch Sunday 10 August 2008. However, when transport to and from Copenhagen is included, the seminar will last from Friday morning until Sunday evening. This transport is included in the fee.

Topics discussed

Participants are free to present (and to add) topics they consider interesting and those registering for the conference are free to comment on the provisional list (below). Anyone who wishes to present a topic (including of your own choice) is free to submit it. Accepted /selected topics must be introduced in 20 minutes or less. These presentations are to open discussions in groups or plenary sessions. At present, the following topics can be covered (the list is provisional; it will be supplemented with suggestions from participants and subsequently reduced):

Proposed Topics:

1. The worlds of Harry Potter. Spanning from the 'universes' of individual books via the Saga to the Internet narratives.

2. Echoes and tongue-in-cheek approaches: superstitions, the animal and botanical world

3. Literary and mythological echoes

4. Structural models for wizardry - plot - explanations

5. The wizarding world

6. History in our world vs./and 'history' in the wizarding world

7. The values promoted

8. Psychological/ phenomena (fear (Boggarts), arachnophobia, being possessed, etc.))

9. Emotions (grief, passion) etc.

10. Equality (gender, racial etc.)

11. Age (e.g. children, adults, old people)

12. Communication

13. The Saga as a tale of teaching

14. The Saga as a mirror of learning


Participants (or one of the organisers) deliver twenty-minute (maximum) introductions opening up the topic

followed by

1. plenary discussions OR

2. small group discussions (organised on the spot according to main interest) with feedback to the plenary OR

3. something else, depending on the feedback spaced at intervals in the seminar. The key word is flexibility.

There are overhead-projectors and power-point projectors at the venue.

Special guest

We are happy to have Steve Vander Ark as a special guest. Steve will deliver two presentations on the first day.

Steve is a freelance writer, a theatre director, a library media specialist, and a public speaker. He attends the seminar as the editor in chief and author of most articles in the 'Harry Potter Lexicon' (www.hp-lexicon.org). He is the leading expert on the Harry Potter canon.

Time frame

Please take note: There is an early pick-up in Copenhagen Friday morning at the main railway station that is included in the fee. 'Officially' the seminar will not start until 13:30

Meeting in Copenhagen at the Main Railway Station (to go to the meeting place) around 8:00 in the morning.


Friday: 12:00 lunch

13:30-14:30 Opening session: Participants introduce themselves and their interests in the seminar

14:30- 15:30 Steve Vander Ark: The rules of the game in canonical work

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:20 Topic

17:20-17:30 Feedback on form of discussion of Topic

17:30 Dinner

19:00 Steve Vander Ark: (informal) about J.K. Rowling and/or Harry Potter


Saturday 8:30

8:30-10:00 Topic

10:00-10:30 Coffee break

10:30-11:50 Topic

11:50-12:00 Feedback on form of discussion of Topic

12:00-13:30 Lunch

13:30-15:15 Topic

15:15-15:45 Coffee break

15:45-17:20 Topic

17:20-17:30 Feedback on form of discussion of Topic

17:30-19:00 Dinner

19:30 Free discussion


Sunday 8:30

9:00-10:00 Topic

10-10:30 Coffee break

10:30-11:30 Topic

11:30-12:15 Summary


Departure for Copenhagen. Expected arrival c. 19:00


3,750 Dkr (= approximately Euros 500; US dollars 750; £ 375)

The fee covers:

- Board (in double rooms)

- All meals from lunch Friday to lunch Sunday

- Beverages at meals

- Coffee or tea at breaks

- Transport from and back to Copenhagen Main Railway Station.

- Badges (with names), etc.


A draft of the registration form is found at the end of this posting. The form can be obtained from one of the organisers. Both can be reached at their e-mail addresses (below) and at 'contact' at www.cay-dollerup.dk.

Receipt of registration is acknowledged. The moment there are 40 registered participants, everybody who has registered is notified that the arrangement is on track and this is announced on the webpage. In case we have not reached 40 registered participants by 1 May, the seminar is cancelled. All who have registered are notified about the cancellation by e-mail.

When the maximum is reached, we set up a waiting list.

Payment (by bank transfer) cannot be undertaken until we have the minimum number of participants. Payment must be received by 1 July 2008.

Organisation of the seminar

In order to make for a relaxed atmosphere and that we know one another in advance, all participants will (in due time) be asked kindly to provide a three-line cv, including key words concerning your interest in the Saga. This will be distributed only to participants.

The organisers

Mr Cay Dollerup, PhD, organiser of various conferences (academic and non-academic), honorary professor East China Normal University, Shanghai. In 2005 he organised a course on the Harry Potter books at the University of Copenhagen. He has lectured on the Saga at universities. (See also publications no. 218 'The Global Appeal of the Harry Potter Saga' and 196 (with Katrine Broensted) 'The Names in Harry Potter.' on this website). (cay.dollerup@webspeed.dk or cay.dollerup@gmail.com.)

Ms Cecilie Kreiner, M.A. (English and musicology), graduated in 2006 from University of Copenhagen with a graduate thesis on Harry Potter fan fiction on the Internet from a literary perspective. (ceciliekreiner@hotmail.com)



The seminar is independent of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. and affiliates. The organisers accept that the Harry Potter name and trademark are the intellectual property of Mrs Rowling, and will NOT introduce anything that questions or challenges this.

By applying to participate in the Interdisciplinary Seminar on the Harry Potter Saga, you accept that Harry Potter and all its affiliated activities are the ownership and copyright of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros.

Registration form

for the



Please underline your first name since this will be used at the seminar

Postal address

E-mail address

Mr: Ms:



why you would like to participate in the seminar

(No more than 50 words)


We share double rooms:

Your age, please


In case you would like to introduce a topic (either from the list or your own), please give an abstract of 40-60 words. Please note that in order to allow for wide-ranging discussion, all introductions must broaden the topic in question rather than constrain and limit it.


Is there a theme (topic etc.) that you do not find on the list and you would like us to discuss?

This will not imply that you are obliged to present it.


Do you have special dietary requests?

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