Harry Potter empowers us to speak across borders of difference and find our authentic voices.
In this month’s episode, Katy and Emily talk with Dr. M’Balia Thomas (University of Kansas) about the border-crossings of students like Harry and Hermione, which M’Balia calls the “Harry Potter Border-Crossing Analogy” (HPBCA). Wizarding world characters’ experiences of going into a different world, with a different language and social system, can help us develop empathy for real-world border-crossers, including particularly second-language learners in the classroom environment. M’Balia also talks personally about how the Harry Potter novels have helped her find her authentic voice, as a woman of color in academia, as a southerner teaching in the Midwest.
Rafael Carneiro (Federal University of Uberlândia, Brazil) and Amy Quirin (University of Kansas) also join us to discuss research all three scholars are producing on Albus Dumbledore’s pedagogy. Is Dumbledore a good teacher? M’Balia, Rafael, and Amy are studying his teaching methodology through digital textual analysis of the language he uses when he instructs other characters.