While this wasn’t actually the title of the article on Accio (UK Harry Potter academic conference) in today’s Grauniad, it might have well have been. The last time I saw this bad a hatchet job by a lazy journo, it was Channel 4’s infamous coverage of the 1995 Glasgow Worldcon with Craig Charles. Even now, the words “sci-fi” spoken in a Liverpudlian accent make me grind my teeth.
The Grauniad article has quite a superior, sneering attitude; when it isn’t decrying papers as “pseudo-intellectual”, it’s describing the attendees as obsessive compulsives with unhealthy sexual fantasies. If anything, it’s the former that I object to more than the latter. HP fandom does have its obsessives (and the article also mentions Draco/giant squid), but the academic side is essentially no different to other literature, media or cultural studies disciplines (science fiction studies, anyone?)
As an aside, it also seems that Pottie : Harry Potter :: Trekkie : Star Trek. I suppose this was inevitable, but one can’t help but feel that such name-calling is just a bit passe.