HPEF presents Infinitus 2010, a Harry Potter conference            TEXT  MENU

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July 15-18, 2010
Orlando, Florida

Casting Your Patronus: Representations of Psychological Processes in the Harry Potter Novels
David Martin

In the Harry Potter novels J. K. Rowling has given us several valuable metaphors for thinking about some common psychological issues: Depression (dementors), irrational fear (boggarts), daydreaming (the Mirror of Erised), and others.  Further, Rowling tells us some important truths about these issues:
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People can lose their lives in daydreaming.
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We can confront our fears - at least some of them - by  discovering that they are ridiculous.
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Chocolate really does help with depression.
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This presentation explores these metaphors.  What does Rowling say about her imaginary creature or object?  What does modern psychology say about that same issue?  What can we learn and use?
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As a possible follow-up activity for families, there is a series of discussion questions:
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What would you see in the Mirror of Erised?
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How would a boggart appear to you?
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What memory would you use to cast your patronus?
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How would your spouse/children/parents answer those questions?

And then we'll have some chocolate.

David Martin is a semi-retired computer programmer and college teacher who has followed Harry Potter closely since 1999.
Formal Programming