The Potter Saga

The Balrog, by Ted Nasmith

START:
May 5, 2014
DURATION:
12 Weeks
ID:
LITA 5303
CREDIT:
3

INSTRUCTORS:

Dr. Amy H. Sturgis
Dr. Amy H. Sturgis
Faculty: Literature and Language Lecturer
bio_JessicaObrien
Jessica O’Brien
Preceptor

Where did J.K. Rowling get her inspiration from? Why is Harry Potter so popular? How do the movies change the story of Harry Potter?

In this course we will discuss the ancestors to the Harry Potter phenomenon, examine the specific works and traditions that inform the Harry Potter universe, study the Harry Potter texts in depth, and, perhaps most importantly, consider why the Harry Potter franchise has achieved unparalleled global popularity today. In the process, we will take both a theoretical and historical approach to popular culture in general and J.K. Rowling’s works in particular. Wizards, witches, squibs, and muggles are welcome as we get to the very heart of Harry Potter.

Course Schedule

Week 1 – Why Study Harry Potter? Rowling, Fairy-Stories, and Genre

  • “The Fantastic Imagination” by George MacDonald (1893 version)
  • “The Ethics of Elfland” by G.K. Chesterton (1908)
  • “On Fairy-Stories” by J.R.R. Tolkien (1947)

Week 2 – Rowling and Mythology

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Week 3 – Rowling and the British School Story

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Week 4 – Rowling and the Gothic

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Week 5 – Rowling and Mystery

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Week 6 – The Political Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 1 – 23

Week 7 – Rowling’s Autobiography through Art

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 24 – 48
  • J.K. Rowling’s Harvard University Commencement Address (2008)

Week 8 – Rowling’s Books vs. Film Adaptations

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Week 9 – Epigraphs and Epitaphs

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapters 1 – 19

Week 10 – Beyond the Books

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapters 20 – Epilogue

Week 11 – J.K. Rowling’s Bookshelf: Other Works that Shaped Harry Potter

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Week 12 – Harry Potter and Transformative Works: New Media, the Fan Phenomenon, and the “Harry Potter Effect”

“When Harry Met Faërie: Rowling’s Hogwarts, Tolkien’s Fairy-Stories, and the Question of Readership” by Amy H. Sturgis (2009)

Required Texts

Course History

This course has been offered in the following semesters.

The Potter Saga Offerings
Semester Preceptor(s)
Summer 2014 Jessica O’Brien
Spring 2012 Jessica O’Brien
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