Harry Potter Lecture

The author of “Behind the Mirror of Erised” spoke in the Great Hall at Pierce College on Oct. 28th.


“Behind the Mirror of Erised: Witchcraft, Folklore, & the Ancestors of Harry Potter” is a lecture given by Sabina Magliocco professor of anthropology at California State University Northridge (CSUN).


The lecture uses metaphors from the Harry Potter series, most notably the Mirror of Erised to express how humanity used witches and magic as a mirror to our own deepest wishes and fears or (Raef).


“The witches’ sabot as described by the Catholic Church was a mirror of raef,” said Magliocco “just as Voldermort and the death eaters are in the series. They represent all that is opposite to what society believes is right.”


Magliocco said that it is our own human nature that causes us to create fantastical images to represent our desires and fears.


“It’s never the people that come from were you are that are the problem,” said Magliocco “it’s always the others that we blame.”


She gave examples of how the Church used the Witches Sabot as an example of dystopia. By doing so they crave more of the utopia that the Church claimed to offer in heaven.


“It’s a form of social projection that we still use today,” said Magliocco “just as the democrats and republican claim the other to be the root of all our problems.”


She warns us not to get sucked into the Mirror or Erised by believing things that are too good or bad to be true.


“Listen to Dumbledore’s warning,” said Magliocco “People can spend there entire lives wasting away in front of the mirror. There is no way of knowing whether what the mirror shows us is real.”


Between 1350 and 1750 people were executed in Europe during the Witch Hunts because society fell into this social projection according to Magliocco.


“My main message is to get people to be more suspicious of “truths” that seem to be too perfect,” said Magliocco “I believe people need to think for themselves.”











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