HPEF presents Infinitus 2010, a Harry Potter conference            TEXT  MENU

July 15-18, 2010
Orlando, Florida

My, What Big Eyes You Have! Lupin, Greyback, and the Modern Werewolf Revival
Melissa D. Aaron

2009 and 2010 seem to be bringing in a werewolf revival in popular culture. In addition to the introduction of Fenrir Greyback to the Potter movies, there are the books and movies of the Twilight Saga (New Moon and Eclipse) and the related “Team Jacob” fandom and the 2010 remake of The Wolf Man with Benicio del Toro. How do Lupin and Greyback in the books and films fit in to the overall themes of werewolf depiction: Curse or gift? Monster or “reluctant monster”? Are werewolves feminized by their dependence on the lunar cycle (“the first week of the phase is the worst”) or are they hyper masculine, violent, and flagrantly sexual? What are their family, romantic, and other social relationships?

Furthermore, why is there a werewolf renaissance at this point in popular culture? What is it about werewolves that we find so appealing? And what lycanthropic themes will the new decade bring?
This presentation will tie together the historical themes of werewolf lore and previous “werewolf renaissances,” including the sympathetic werewolves of 12th century romance and the werewolf trials of medieval Europe, contextualize the Harry Potter canon and fanon within those themes, and expand the discussion for a comparison and contrast to other current werewolf fandoms.

Melissa D. Aaron is a Professor in the Dept. of English and Foreign Languages at Cal Poly Pomona. She received her Ph.D from UW-Madison in Renaissance Dramatic Literature. Her book Global Economics: An institutional economic history of the Chamberlain's/King's Men and their plays, 1599- 1642, was published by University of Delaware Press in 2005. Her research is on Shakespeare and economics and all-women Shakespeare companies. In the Harry Potter world, Professor Aaron has developed a specialty in werewolves, as "Moonyprof." She represented Professor Lupin at the Hogwart's Best: Teacher of the Year panel at Lumos in 2006 and has presented papers on Lupin and werewolves: "'Said He Was a Wolf: Professor Lupin meets the Duchess of Malfi," The Witching Hour, 2005; "The Way of the Wolf: Werewolves, (Mis)Representation, and Mental Illness" Prophecy, 2007; and "New Moon, Full Moon, Wolfsbane Potion and Fursploding Boys: werewolves in the Harry Potter books and the Twilight saga," Azkatraz, 2009.
Formal Programming