J.K. Rowling's recent novel Casual Vacancy appears to use elements from the Frazer dying god / Saturnalia tradition: sausages and obesity (Howard Mollison), a scapegoat (Fats Wall), death associated with regeneration (Krystal and Fats having sex near Barry's grave), gender ambiguity (Sukhvinder), a mask-like obsession with looking youthful and sexy (Samantha), and a withered woman who is grotesquely sexual (Maureen). Confederacy of Dunces also shares such elements: Clyde the king of sausages, Ignatius as a mock scapegoat with gender ambiguity, Mrs. Levy's mask-like appearance, and the withered Trixie.
One huge difference is the sense of collective responsibility in Casual Vacancy. People do die in that book, and others share blame. Many people could have saved Robbie's life, but they were too wrapped up in themselves to take action. There are evil people, such as Obo, and unscrupulous ones, such as Simon Price. Fats as scapegoat takes on the sins of the community, and there are a lot of them. By comparison, Confederacy is a carnival romp with a largely happy ending.
Thesis: Compare the tragic use of Saturnalian themes in Rowling's Casual Vacancy to the comic uses thereof in Confederacy of Dunces. See if you can fit in some concepts from Marsilio Ficino (you can).