On Wednesday night, I spoke at Tufts University on Harry Potter. It was a great experience to be back at Tufts as an invited speaker. I think the talk was well received. I spoke with several students after the talk and they seemed to like it. My parents were there, and they liked it--but they have to be law.
The title of my talk was: Harry Potter and Humanity: Choice, Love, and Death. The essential idea of the talk is that HP has wide appeal because it deals with important parts of the human condition. I focus on two such points: the importance of one's choices and the acceptance of mortality. I argue that what makes Voldemort's evil possible, in part, is his refusal to accept his humanity and his mortality. I might post the talk here, but I may not--I think it needs more work. It is very different to give a speech than to post it in written form. If you are interested in seeing what I wrote, send me a request by email: sklein _at_ alumni.tufts.edu.
Here's the Tufts Daily newspaper article
about the event. The article captures the event pretty well; though it misquotes me somewhat--but not in a meaningful way.
Some thoughts on being back at Tufts:
- The students look the same. I swear, they looked the same when I was there.
- The campus looks remarkably similar; yet, there are lots of differences. That is a testament to good design. They have upgraded many of the buildings and added some new ones without change the feel of the campus.
- As I passed through the campus I was flooded with memories of different moments in time; many I haven't thought of since their occurrence. So strange to return to a place where there are pieces of your life every where you look.
Thanks to the Ex College
and the Tufts Harry Potter Society for inviting me.