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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 July 2005, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
Academics hold Harry Potter talks
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was published this month
Highbrow fans of Harry Potter are holding an academic conference about the teenage wizard this weekend.

Professors and academics are involved in the event at Reading University, looking at topics such as the social issues of the wizarding community.

Light-hearted events include a mock trial of potions master Severus Snape and a Hogwarts-style banquet.

But those aged under 18 are not able to take part, despite the fact JK Rowling's books are aimed at children.

The event has been organised by the fan club Accio, but has not been backed by Rowling or her publisher Bloomsbury.

Seminar topics being discussed around the books include mythic symbols, alchemy and religious identity.

Accio spokeswoman Serena Culfeather said: "The appeal of the Harry Potter books is so wide-ranging that we felt a conference exploring the text was long overdue."

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