Top 5 Wednesday!


Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday after such a long hiatus! Every week, join me and other bloggers/booktubers as we discuss our Top 5 Books according to the theme from the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads Group! This group, started by @thoughtsontomes and @gingerreadslainey, has prompts every week.

Today, the theme is NOSTALGIC SHIPS

Discuss the first fictional couples you ever got butterflies over, or couples you used to be really into when you were younger.

#5 – MAX & FANG from Maximum Ride by James Patterson

I was a major “Fax” shipper, and this was one of the fandoms I wrote a lot of fanfiction for when I was a teenager. I think I outgrew the series before it was finished, so I never found out how it ended, but I was very invested in them as a teenager.

#4 – GEMMA & KARTIK from A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

I recently stumbled upon awful hand-written fanfiction about these two, and … yeah. You could say I was obsessed. I was DEVASTATED at the end of the series, but I think even then I knew that it was the right ending for the story. 

#3 – RON & HERMIONE from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

I can’t say I ship them as much now as I once did, but I was super happy when they finally kissed in Deathly Hallows! Truthfully, I might have shipped Harmony much earlier on in my Potter fandom days, but by the time the series was over, I was definitely invested in Romione. 

#2 – JANE & MR. ROCHESTER from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

My ultimate problematic fave. I was head over heels for this couple in my late teens/early twenties! I still kind of love them even though I’m aware of what a screwed-up relationship it really is now. 

#1 – CHAR & ELLA from Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

My God, the letters they wrote to each other?! The fact that he fell in love with her mind and her passion and her personality more than anything else? Holy hell I don’t think I’ll ever be over this.



yer a wizard, dudley

Harry Potter spent his eleventh birthday in a cabin on a tiny rock in the middle of the sea, listening to his cousin snore on the couch.

When a knock sounded on the wind-swept, rain-drenched door, it was not a giant fist (or a half-giant’s fist). It was a short sharp rap that sounded once, twice, three times before Minerva McGonagall simply charmed the lock open and stepped inside.

“Apologies,” Minerva said crisply, as Vernon raced out brandishing his rifle and Petunia pulled Dudley up off the couch and behind her. “I wasn’t sure you could hear me over the weather.” The rain fell down behind the professor in a roar. She was perfectly dry.

Minerva fished in her pocket without looking, because the only things allowed in her pockets were only ever exactly what she needed. “I’ve come to deliver this,” she said, pulling out a letter and handing it to Harry, who was cross-legged on the floor, “because our owl post seems to have been unable to get through.”

“And I’ve come to deliver this,” she added, pulling out a second letter, “because Hogwarts by-laws require a professor to hand-deliver acceptance letters to Muggleborn families for their explanation and comfort.”

The Dursleys did not look comforted, nor did they sound it once they opened their mouths. Dudley rubbed sleep from his eyes while Harry retreated to a corner out of everyone’s reach to open his letter (finally) and read through it. When he looked up again, Uncle Vernon’s rifle had turned into a rubber chicken and the professor was almost yelling.

“Your son has magic,” Minerva snapped. She had just come from a little family of Muggle dentists, who had taken notes on everything she told them, and their bushy-haired daughter, who had stared up at her with big hungry eyes and asked questions at breakneck speed. After that, this was not just exhausting but almost insulting.  "Whether or not you want him to be, Dudley is magic. If we do not teach him to handle it, it will still happen.“

“I want to go,” said Harry, very softly.

Minerva couldn’t decide whether to go softer or more fierce. “Of course you will, Mr. Potter, if I have to escort you myself.”

“We won’t– we won’t allow–” Vernon began to bluster, but Dudley was watching Harry’s set face. His little eyes squinted.

“Dudley is not–”

“If Harry gets to go,” said Dudley at the top of his sizeable lungs.

“Dudley,” Vernon snapped, so Dudley raised his voice even higher to announce, “Then I do, too.”

“But Duddikins–”

Dudley’s face was going red. Harry moved quietly out of his radius and Minerva watched him go. “It’s not fair, you can’t stop me, I’m not gonna sit and learn dumb maths while he does magic–”

“Don’t say that word!”

Neither of you is going–”

Dudley bellowed, no words, just sound, drowning out his parents. Harry watched the rain out the window. Minerva had known James Potter. She had known him well, in war and in peace, from behind a teacher’s desk and beside him in the trenches. This eleven year old looked very little like the grinning boy she’d so often scolded– but he looked a bit like the young man she’d later had the privilege of fighting alongside.

McGonagall drew close to Petunia as Vernon tried to muffle Dudley’s hollers with big hands and wheedling promises. “Mrs. Dursley, you may not be aware, but every letter to the Hogwarts admissions office goes through me, and has for decades.” Petunia’s bony face snapped up to meet Minerva’s eyes. “Including those sent with stamps.”

Petunia was pale, her fists claws at her sides. “Childish– those were childish, absurd wishes–”

“He is a child,” said Minerva. “He’s magical. Let him have this.”

Dudley took a breath and let out another bellow, kicking at his father’s shin.

Minerva tried not to wince. She tried to mean it. “Let him have the chances you didn’t.” Petunia’s gaze shifted away to the ground. Minerva reached out for the other woman’s elbow, her bony fingers as gentle as she could force them to be, which wasn’t very. “Don’t hate him for it, Ms. Dursley.”

“I would never,” Petunia snapped, raising her eyes in a swift, angry jerk, but Minerva had known Lily Evans, too.

Once Minerva had convinced Petunia and Dudley’s caterwauling had convinced Vernon, she set up an appointment date and time to take them to Diagon Alley the next week and left them to their impromptu seaside vacation. She napped on their back porch in Animagus form the day they were meant to meet her, watching with a cat’s focused patience as they piled into the car, snapping at each other. She’d sent them two follow-up reminders by the blandest owl she could lay her hands on.

In the Leaky Cauldron, Vernon cornered Minerva up against a table. She didn’t move a step backward, achingly resisting returning to her schoolgirl ways and transforming him to a lizard.

“If you’re not back from this– this Alley– with Dudley within the hour, I’m calling Scotland Yard.” He put his finger in Minerva’s face, and he miraculously remained human-shaped. Sometimes Minerva impressed even herself. “I have a direct line to one of their superiors. We provided the drills for their latest expansion, and I will not hesitate to call in favors.” Then he stomped off to get himself a drink.

Minerva raised her eyebrows at Raul, behind the bar, whose Head of House she had been for seven years, conveying quietly her expectation that any drink Vernon gulped down would have a generous dollop of frog spawn, and that Raul would charge him extra for it, too.

Dudley started gaping and didn’t stop as she led the boys into Gringotts and changed some of Dudley’s Muggle money for Knuts and Sickles. She watched his little beady eyes tick through an interested count of the little piles moving across the wood. A watery blue, they looked just like his father’s in his pink, squashed face. Minerva apologized briskly to Grelda, the Gringotts receptionist who watched Dudley while Minerva took Harry to his parents’ vault, and promised her some grateful banana bread at their next poker night.

While they clattered through the darkness of Gringotts’s underbelly, Minerva asked Harry about his hobbies, the latest books he’d read, and got brief answers– he was more interested in staring over the edge of the cart, gaze chasing after a glimpse of dragon fire. She nodded and let the silence sit between them as they bounced and screeched toward the Potters’s vault.

When Harry climbed out of the cart, all knees and elbows, she followed, thinking about book lists and schedules, maybe a new set of clothes. The chill of the underground clung to her ankles. She twisted the key in her pocket.

Minerva didn’t expect it to matter to her, the piles of coins that appeared when the vault door wicked away into smoke. It was metal, dead and cold– no, not dead, never even living. This was an errand run, like fetching her mail or a bottle of milk.

But Harry was standing there in his ratty hand-me-downs, and this had been left to him.

Galleons glittered in the dim light. This had been Lily’s, and James’s, and Minerva remembered when they had been as small as the child hesitating before her, staring.

“I knew them.” The words were fluttering behind the ridge of her teeth, and she didn’t say them.

Harry was eleven years old, just barely, and every child in the wizarding world knew his name. Only the tips of his fingers peeked out from the sagging sleeves of his sweater.

Minerva didn’t say, “I took Lily from her family’s house, with its greenish carpet, its lacey kitchen curtains, and big backyard. She wasn’t much bigger than you, and I walked her down this street and picked out her books and her robes and her cauldron, and I never gave her back.

“You’ve got her eyes,” she didn’t say, “but not the ones from back then, finding out magic was real for the first time. You’ve got her eyes from the end, from the last days. Not a single Evans came to her funeral, but I did.”

“Well, Mr. Potter? We have a lot to do,” she said instead, and helped him gather some fistfuls of Galleons into a pouch.

At the equipment shop, Harry looked like he might ask for a solid gold cauldron until Dudley shouldered past him and demanded one himself. At that, the smaller boy peeled away in disgust and found a pewter one. “No,” Minerva said to Dudley, and hauled him along by the shirtsleeve.

Dudley parroted his father’s words about robes, but he ran his grubby fingers over every cloth in Madame Malkin’s until Minerva made him sit. He wrinkled his nose at the smell of the Owl Emporium but ended up shrieking, rolling, and pounding his heels on the street when Minerva refused to buy him an owl.

“Apply to your parents,” she told him sternly. She cast a Silencing Charm and sat with him, reviewing the shopping list, until he was done yelling.

She returned them in exactly sixty minutes. Dudley, sulking, went straight for his mother, towing his sack of new possessions behind him.

“I will see you all at Platform 9 and 3/4s at promptly 10:45 a.m. on September 1st.”

“9 and 3/4s?” Vernon scoffed. “There’s no such–”

“It’s approximately three quarters of the way between platforms 9 and 10. I will see you then,” Minerva said and then went off to get a drink from Raul.

Minerva expected Harry to get Gryffindor. He was Lily’s son, after all, and she had seen him stand in that shack with his chin high and tell her he wanted a brave new world. (It never occurred to her, and Harry never told her, that for that wanting the Hat had offered him Slytherin first.)

It was the Dursley boy she expected in green and silver. He was a pudgy, unformed larvae of a child. She’d seen him at age one, screaming for sweets, and then again at eleven, screaming to drown out his father’s protests, and she didn’t really see much difference other than size.

The Hat sat on Dudley’s head for ages while the kid fidgeted and sweated. In the entryway, he’d stuck a finger through the Fat Friar’s translucent robes and ignored Harry talking with a freckly redhead. Minerva wasn’t sure exactly how she felt about Harry falling in automatically with a Weasley– she was hoping this latest one turned out more like Bill or Percy, rather than the twins, but Harry was James’s son. He and Ron already looked inseparable, huddled together in the waiting line of first years.

Dudley kicked his heels against the wooden stool, the Hat slipping down over his watery little eyes. The silence in the Hall was breaking to murmurs as the wait stretched on– Minerva frowned. Was this shallow bully going to be a Hat stall? Between what? Slytherin, and–? Merlin, please not Gryffindor

“RAVENCLAW,” the Hat announced and Minerva almost spat out her mouthful of pumpkin juice.

Read More (Ao3) (link)


I clicked through to Ao3 and it was not a mistake! I couldn’t stop reading!





I love how casually knowledgeable Ronald Weasley is, talking facts, including the year and the venue

like that.

Charlie studied dragons. Ron isn’t just casually knowledgeable, he takes an interest in his brothers’ hobbies

I’ll bet it wasn’t just an interest. In fact, I’ll bet those exact words were repeated in the Weasley household on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

“But Mum, my mate’s cousin’s sister’s uncle has the egg just ready to go and honestly, who better to take care of things than us, because after all—?”

“Dragon breeding was outlawed by the Warlocks’ Convention of 1709, Charlie!”

“Dad, seriously, the guy in the alleyway was practically begging me to take the egg and I mean—”

“Dragon breeding was outlawed by the Warlocks’ Convention of 1709, Charlie!”

“Good morning, family, let’s say I managed to convert my bedroom into a habitat suitable for a Chinese Fireball, wouldn’t that show that I’m respons—”

“Dragon breeding was outlawed by the Warlocks’ Convention of 1709, Charlie!”

It’s just on a gigantic af poster in the middle of the Burrow’s kitchen. Hanging right there above the tea kettle: 𝔻𝕣𝕒𝕘𝕠𝕟 𝕓𝕣𝕖𝕖𝕕𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕨𝕒𝕤 𝕠𝕦𝕥𝕝𝕒𝕨𝕖𝕕 𝕓𝕪 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕎𝕒𝕣𝕝𝕠𝕔𝕜𝕤’ ℂ𝕠𝕟𝕧𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕠𝕗 𝟙𝟟𝟘𝟡, ℂ𝕙𝕒𝕣𝕝𝕚𝕖!

It just wasn’t mentioned because it wasn’t relevant to Harry’s journey.

Not a poster. A sampler, spite-embroidered by Percy one very surly winter.

Top 5 Wednesday!

Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday! Every week, join me and other bloggers/booktubers as we discuss our Top 5 Books according to the theme from the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads Group! This group, started by @thoughtsontomes and @gingerreadslainey, has prompts every week.

Today, the theme is FUTURE CLASSICS

What books do you think with stand the test of time?

#5 – The Hate U Give Angie Thomas

This is such an incredibly important book that I truly hope it becomes a classic. It’s been on the NYT Bestseller List for over a year, so I think that says an awful lot. 

#4 – Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

This book seems to make my T5W lists a lot! That’s because it’s amazing, though. I definitely think this will remain a hallmark of children’s literature for years to come. 

#3 – Speak by Laurie Halse Andersen

This is not quite 20 years old yet (which I’m using an an arbitrary mark for classic status), but the impact it made on Young Adult Literature is significant and I think this is going to continue to have a huge impact in years to come. 

#2 – The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

This is actually already a classic now that we’re at the 20 year mark, but since we’re still working with the initial generation of readers, I think there’s still some time before we’re absolutely sure. I do know that people are already doing significant academic work on it, so that says a lot, but I’m positive that this will be considered a classic within the next few years.

#1 – The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

This book and its sequels have all won a Nebula Award apiece, so I think that certainly shows standing power as far as becoming a classic. Not only did this book win a Nebula, but it’s also outstanding in literary quality (and I’m saying that as someone who assessing literary quality in the academy). It’s sure to stand the test of time and I’m looking forward to seeing it, and Jemisin’s other work, becoming as well-known and beloved as the Dune series or other classic SFF. 

Trying to predict classics can be a real challenge, but as a professional reader of literature, I hope I have a good idea about what might indicate a future classic. I’d love to hear if you agree about these or if you have other ideas about books that might become classics!

Top Five Wednesday

Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday! Every week, join me and other bloggers/booktubers as we discuss our Top 5 Books according to the theme from the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads Group! This group, started by @thoughtsontomes and @gingerreadslainey, has prompts every week.


In honor of Father’s Day (in America at least), discuss some of your favorite fictional dads.

#5 – CASTLE from Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

I love how Castle took in Juliette and the other members of the resistance and acted in such a fatherly way to them, even when he was preoccupied with leading the resistance. He wasn’t perfect, but he was clearly someone Juliette really needed in her life. 

#4 – COLM FAHEY from Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Colm was such a sweetheart and I loved how he was so in over his head with the Dregs but just did his best to love them anyway. And Colm’s hat will always be the true champ.

#3 – MADOC from The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Madoc was the most fascinating character in this book to me, because he was so violent and did some truly awful things, but he also cared deeply for his adopted children. The dynamic he shared with Jude was intriguing and I’m wondering what else will come of it in the future books.

#2 – BIG MAV from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Big Mav was one of my absolute favorite characters in THUG because of the love he had for his family, the way he attempted to navigate the mistakes of his past and move forward into the future, and how he was a fully-fleshed character even when he wasn’t the focus of the story. By the time I finished THUG, I wanted a prequel about how he and his wife fell in love because I enjoyed their characters so much. 

#1 – SIRIUS BLACK from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Come on, you guys. Like there’s really any other option for my #1 spot. I was devastated when Sirius was killed and had a slew of headcanons for how and when he would come back. AND HE NEVER DID. My favorite HP headcanon continues to be the AU in which Sirius and Remus co-parent Harry. I just … so much potential, wasted. A true tragic story.

This was another tricky list to come up with, because as I was going through my shelves I realized that I haven’t read a great number of books with good father characters–a lot of them are kind of shitty! Still good characters, but shitty fathers. Thankfully, I was still able to come up with five, and I’m wondering if you’ve read any books with great father figures! 

Top Five Wednesday!


Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday! Every week, join me and other bloggers/booktubers as we discuss our Top 5 Books according to the theme from the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads Group! This group, started by @thoughtsontomes and @gingerreadslainey, has prompts every week.


Choose characters you are like, not characters you WANT to be like. You can also choose one character trait you share with a particular character. For example, you may not have Hermione’s bravery, but you do have her book smarts!

#5 – SUSAN PEVENSIE from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

I related to Susan the most out of the Pevensie children, and I think that still holds true. The way Susan conducted herself and her integrity are things I think I possess. Also, I do archery, so that’s another similarity!

#4 – ELLA OF FRELL from Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

I feel like the spunk and creativity of Ella is something that I also have as well. I also feel very constrained by things outside of my control, and I very much relate to her struggles to fight against them. Her skill with foreign languages is also something that I have (even if I’m better at reading than speaking them)!

#3 – HERMIONE GRANGER from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling 

Hermione was one of the first characters I really identified with in a book series. Thought I’m a Ravenclaw and not a Gryffindor like her, I definitely rely on my logic to navigate through life, even if sometimes that’s not the best method to use.

#2 – KATSA from Graceling by Kristen Cashore

This was the first book that really made me feel seen as a person. I was actually sobbing at the part of the story where Katsa expressed her feelings for Po but also sticks to her convictions about romance. It meant so much to me. I also thin I have Katsa’s sheer determination, even if I’m not as closed-off as she is. 

#1 – YEVA from Hunted by Meagan Spooner

I identified with Yeva more than I have with any other character I’ve read in recent memory. Her determination, her handling of her emotions, her feelings about romance, her dedication to her family all felt intimately familiar to me.

Usually I look at my bookshelves while I’m composing T5W, but I have all of them packed this week! Still, this was a pretty easy list to come up with. I’d love to hear which characters you think you’re the most like in comments or reblogs! 

Top Five Wednesday!

Welcome to Top 5 Wednesday! Every week, join me and other bloggers/booktubers as we discuss our Top 5 Books according to the theme from the Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads Group! This group, started by @thoughtsontomes and @gingerreadslainey, has prompts every week.

Today, the theme is FAVORITE JOKESTERS!

In honor of April Fools (a bit late but hey, I don’t control when Wednesdays fall), talk about your favorite jokesters, pranksters, and funny characters.

#5 – BABA YAGA from Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

She’s not a “jokester” so much as a trickster, but Baba Yaga was one of my favorite parts of this book. She had my favorite lines and was such a captivating and entertaining–but definitely not benevolent–character.

#4 – THORNE from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Mayer

Thorne’s swagger and arrogance were always so much fun read, especially because they contrasted so nicely with his more somber and series moments. He annoyed me at first, but I really began to enjoy him over the course of the series.

#3 – KENJI KISHIMOTO from the Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

I think Kenji really brought the whole series together for me. I loved the angst and drama of Juliette and Warner, but Kenji was able to lighten the mood at just the right moments and made the whole series feel more dynamic. 

#2 – JESPER FAHEY from the Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo

Jesper was an absolute delight every time he was on the page, and he was guaranteed to make me laugh. Get him going with Kaz or Matthias and I was bound to be splitting a rib! 

#1 – FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

This was probably seems way too obvious, but these two were absolutely a childhood staple of mine and Deathly Hallows hit me way too hard. Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes is my favorite shop in the Harry Potter parks and I’m just utterly delighted by everything they do. Fred and George forever!

This one was a little tricky to put together, because I guess I don’t read that many books with jokesters (or, as my brother puts it, I have no sense of humor). But these guys definitely are my favorites, and I’d love to hear yours! 

NPCA/ACA Conference: Day 3!

Last week, I attended the National Pop Culture/American Culture Association Conference in Indianapolis! This continues a series of posts summarizing the post interesting things that happened and the things I learned. I attended a lot of panels on YA Literature, Fandoms, and Fairy Tales, which is very topical for this blog, so I thought it would be fun to put together a summary of events! Enjoy!

Day 1

Day 2, Part One

Day 2, Part Two

Potterheads and Harry Potter Fandom: Reading and Practice

Featuring Sarah Dove, Ryann Patrus, and J. Caroline Toy from The Ohio State University

What constitutes canon?: Fan Responses to Fluidity and Discrepancy in the Potterverse

Sarah Dove’s paper confronted fan responses to gaps in the Harry Potter canon and their reactions to new material that may not jive with previously-established canon. Citing The Cursed Child, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise, and other similar materials, Dove examined how Potter fans reconstitute and interact with new and old materials to compose their own degree of ownership of the Potterverse.

Themes of Disability and Ableism in the World of Harry Potter

Ryann Patrus applied the lens of disability studies to the Potterverse, examining how the characters of Rubeus Hagrid, Argus Filch, and Remus Lupin all serve as metaphors for disability in the text and means through which to discuss the concepts of universal accessibility (which the wizarding world provides Hagrid), inbetweenity (which Hagrid and Filch both face as non-normative magic users), and marginalization (which all three characters face despite accommodations made for them in the text). Patrus also looked at how disabled fans insert themselves into the Potterverse through headcanons (such as this tumblr post about d/Deaf wizards). It was an excellent paper and analysis of the text, and Patrus was also certain to make her presentation accommodating to people of various disabilities who might have been present in the room.

Departing Now from Platform 9 ¾: Harry Potter Movie Fan Pilgrimages

Approaching her research from a religious studies background, J. Caroline Toy discussed how fan pilgrimages to filming sites of the Harry Potter films resemble religious pilgrimages in many ways. She has applied this study to Sherlock pilgrimages as well, but for this paper she focused on pilgrimages to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, King’s Cross Station, and Christchurch in Oxford. She put emphasis on how all three of these locations represent a mark on a “sliding scale of mediation” with regard to how tightly-controlled the fans’ experiences in these locations are. She still plans to do fieldwork at the Harry Potter theme parks to expand her research. 

Fandoms in Conflict

Featuring Debra E. Jensen (Brigham Young University), Laura Marie Ortiz Mercado (University of Notre Dame), and Heather Powers (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

When Fandom Divides: An Analysis of a Fan Community in Conflict

Debra Jensen’s paper was a study on the crisis that occurred surrounding the invitation of Orson Scott Card to Salt Lake City Comic Con. Given Card’s controversial remarks on the LGBT+ community, many severed tied with SLCCC or otherwise made their protests public. Jensen analyzed the comments in “Rate Your Con” and the SLCCC Facebook group to see what patterns of discourse emerged. Her research was waylaid by the “dirty deleting” of almost everything to do with the Card controversy on the FB group. Still, her analysis revealed interesting patterns in the behavior of fans when in conflict.

“Militant fans”: a case study of ABC’s Once Upon A Time and the threat of fan participation.

My favorite presentation of the day was Laura Marie Ortiz Mercado’s paper on the “militant fans” of ABC’s Once Upon a Time. She demonstrated how the showrunners’ commitment to fan participation in the show wound up negatively affecting the creative process, as the showrunners’ original goals were sidelined by the fans’ desire to see their ships happen. The show actually changed genre several times in order to accommodate these militant fans, and ultimately caused the show to lose direction, leading to its end after Season 7. I loved the analysis of varying levels of fan involvement and the culpability of the showrunners’ in their attempts to cater overmuch to fans. It’s a fascinating phenomenon to study. 

“Joss the Way We Like It”: What Happens When Our Heroes Fall?

Unfortunately, I had to leave before I could hear this paper in order to catch lunch with my mentor, but the phenomenon of Joss Whedon is certainly an excellent area to look into in fan studies, and I wish I could have heard Powers’ paper. 

Comics and Comic Art XXV: Views of the Changing Medium

Featuring Chrisopher Jeansonne (The Ohio State University), Alan Jozwiak, Moe Shamsi (University of Southern California), and Melissa Suba Sokolski (Indiana University)

Perception, Memory, and Forgetting within The Fantastic Four’s Galactus Trilogy

Proportional Transformation: Batman 1960s-2000s

Superheroes in a Critical Pedagogy Classroom, Or: With Great Learning Comes Great Responsibility

Though I didn’t see the first two papers on this panel, I did come in time to hear Christopher Jeansonne talk about his use of superheroes in his pedagogy, and how he used superhero material to form a new, collaborative curriculum and research program with his students.

Holy Clones and Copies, Batman! The Superhero in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Melissa Suba Sokolski used Walter Benjamin’s article “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” to analyze how superhero comics, which are made to be cheaply reproduced, respond to Benjamin’s theory that art cannot exist in such a state. She examined fan and reader responses to these comics as representing something sacred (through cyclical time) and compared that to other forms of superhero media which may or may not accomplish the same thing. 

This was the last panel I attended of the day. Afterward I had coffee with a fellow YA writer who is currently querying her dark fae novel (for fans of Holly Black), before heading home to catch up on sleep. It was a long and busy weekend, but I made some awesome connections and heard some fantastic research! The NPCA Conference is enormous, so there’s no possible way to do it all, but if you’re interested in what else went down, you can check out their website or the #pcaaca2018 tag on Twitter. Thanks for tuning in, and I hope you enjoyed the posts!