Amy Sturgis, keynote speaker, Lenoir-Rhyne University

Amy H. Sturgis, a widely known expert on fantasy and science fiction, is our 2018 keynote speaker.  On festival day, Dr. Sturgis will speak on the topic “Why We Need New Magic: Tolkien, Rowling, and Post-Potter Fantasy Literature.”  Dr. Sturgis earned her Ph.D. in Intellectual History from Vanderbilt University. She teaches at Lenoir-Rhyne University and specializes in fantasy/science fiction and Indigenous American Studies. She also contributes monthly articles to the Hugo Award-winning StarShipSofa podcast and serves as editor in chief of Hocus Pocus Comics. The author of four books and over sixty essays and the editor of eight books, Dr. Sturgis has won awards for her scholarship (from the Northeast Tolkien Society) and journalism (from the Los Angeles Press Club), and she has been interviewed as a guest expert in venues such as NPR's "Talk of the Nation,” The History Channel, The Huffington Post, MuggleNet Academia, and Reading, Writing, Rowling. Some of her works include the edited collections The Intersection of Fantasy and Native America: From H.P. Lovecraft to Leslie Marmon Silko, Past Watchful Dragons: Fantasy and Faith in the Worlds of C.S. Lewis, and the "A Celebration of Indigenous Fantasists" double-issue of Apex Magazine, as well as essays in Mythlore, Hog's Head Conversations, The Ravenclaw Reader, Harry Potter for Nerds, Vol. 2, and Critical Insights: The Hunger Games Trilogy. Her official website is

Events organized by the Ministry for Magical Education will take place at Greene Memorial United Methodist Church.


Official Website:

"A Celebration of Indigenous Fantasists" issue of Apex Magazine:

"Hogwarts in America" from Reason Magazine:…/…/11/18/hogwarts-in-america/print

"Harry Potter Is A Hobbit" from CSL:…/…/2012/10/harryisahobbitpdf.pdf