One Fantastic Rogue Beast: Signum Symposium

untitled4Are you a Harry Potter fan? How about Star Wars? Have you seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them and/or Rogue One? Well then, you’ll want to attend an upcoming Symposium in which we’ll be talking, arguing, and bantering about these two movies. What did you love, what did you hate, what were you shocked by? Where do they fit into their worlds? Are they faithful to their texts? How do they work as adaptations? What do they say about our culture?

On Friday, January 6th, at 7 PM ET, I’ll be hosting a roundtable discussion with three Signumites: Katherine Sas, Brenton Dickieson, and Kelly Orazi. The group will discuss the two recent films and touch on wider Harry Potter and Star Wars-related questions while they’re at it.

Have a question you want us to answer or a point you want us to address? Leave it in the comments here or tweet it to @SorinaHiggins.

Register here by clicking on the blue JOIN THIS EVENT button on the left-hand side of your screen.

For those who cannot attend live, the discussion will be recorded and posted on  our Signum Symposia channels on YouTube and iTunes U. You can add the Signum Symposia podcast feed to your favorite podcasting app to download audio-only versions of Signum Symposia.

About Sørina Higgins

Sørina Higgins is a PhD student in English and Presidential Scholar at Baylor University. She also serves as Chair of the Language and Literature Department at Signum University, online. Her latest publication is an academic essay collection on "The Inklings and King Arthur" (Apocryphile Press, December 2017). Her interests include British Modernism, the Inklings, Arthuriana, theatre, and magic. She holds an M.A. from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Sørina blogs about British poet Charles Williams at The Oddest Inkling, wrote the introduction to a new edition of Williams’s "Taliessin through Logres" (Apocryphile, 2016), and edited Williams’s "The Chapel of the Thorn" (Apocryphile, 2014). As a creative writer, Sørina has published two books of poetry, "The Significance of Swans" (2007) and "Caduceus" (2012).
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2 Responses to One Fantastic Rogue Beast: Signum Symposium

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    A ‘matter’ I raised recently (and belatedly) at the Hogwarts Professor blog, to which no-one has responded, yet, is that of the business of ‘repressing one’s magic’ and the possibilities – or not (?!) – and of abnegation, in Rowling’s work as compared, especially, to Tolkien’s. In The Tempest, Prospero magically manipulates like crazy – yet, when it comes to the point, sets his magic aside, making himself vulnerable (however exactly one interprets this). Something similar could be said of Harry Potter. But, what of an earlier, more radical abnegation, or ascesis? This, with Tolkien’s discussion in his 1956 Joanna de Bortadano letter drafts (Letter 186) in mind, in which he says, “The greatest examples of the action of the spirit and of reason are in abnegation.” Would it be possible, in Rowling’s secondary world, for someone with magical powers, simply, properly to refuse ‘the gift’ by refusing any exercise of it? People who, so far as they can tell, seem to have ‘psychic gifts’, and deliberately (and as far as they can tell, quite properly) do not attempt to exercise or develop them, are very much a part of my experience. Certainly Christians (I’m not immediately sure, if only Christians, as it happens, or others as well: I’d have to try to catalogue examples). Is anything like that a recognized possibility in ‘the Potterverse’?

    And what of the language of ‘repression’? Whose language is this in the new film(script), and just how is it being used? Is it ‘Freudian’? And if so, which or whose ‘Freudianism’? Does it matter, film(script)-wise, what had been written by Freud, translated into English, and otherwise popularized by the date of the action? Or is ‘anachronistic Freudianism’ in play? Or is it not certainly ‘Freudian’, but probably some sort of someone’s ‘psychoanalysis’?

    Does ‘repression’, here, contrast with a positive possibility of abnegation (though that is not stated explicitly – at least, not in this first film).

    Perhaps, less sharply (so far as I know), that is a ‘matter’ for consideration in the world of Star Wars and a character’s relation to ‘the Force’, too. Is abnegation equally a possibility next to Jedi(-like) use and Sith(-like) abuse?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You definitely need to discuss Captain Cassian Andor’s little speech as he (and others) volunteer to join the mission to retrieve the plans to the Death Star. Here is a transcript:

    “Some of us — most of us — we’ve all done terrible things on behalf of the Rebellion. Spies, saboteurs, assassins. Every thing I did, I did for the Rebellion. And every time I walked away from something I wanted to forget, I told myself it was for a cause I believed in. A cause that was worth it. Without that, we’re lost. Everything we’ve done would have been for nothing. I couldn’t face myself if I gave up now. None of us could have.”

    Liked by 1 person

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