Course Details for Dan Shea - Summer - 2019

Harry Potter: Contexts and Criticism

Faculty:
Dan Shea (More Info)

Course:
Harry Potter: Contexts and Criticism

Program Dates:

Honors Credit:
None

WKU Course:
TBA

Discipline(s):
English Language and Literature , Film And Media Studies , Pop Culture

Course Description:
Studying the Harry Potter novels in England allows us to understand the literary, cultural, and historical contexts which inspired J.K. Rowling. We’ll investigate the texts and places which shaped the Harry Potter series while discussing critical approaches to the novels and films. In addition to touring the film and novel settings of London, we’ll venture to towns and villages beyond London, including Oxford, to visit castles, cathedrals, markets, and museums and bolster our understanding of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Students will tour the Warner Brothers studio and will have the opportunity to journey from King’s Cross Station to Scotland.

Prerequisites:
Any low-level, introductory literature course.

Physical Activity Requirements:
course activities will inevitably involve long walks, so students should be prepared to walk from three to five miles in a day and spend long days on their feet getting the most out of their time in London.

Course Highlights:
  1. Study the Harry Potter novels in London!
  2. Investigate J.K. Rowling’s depictions of Britain’s national, racial, and cultural identity against the backdrop of contemporary London life.
  3. Learn about the literature which inspired the Harry Potter novels and visits sites important to English children’s literature, the literature of Gothic London, and authors such as Dickens, Tolkien, J.M. Barrie, Austen, and Shakespeare.
  4. Seek out the London settings for crucial passages in the Harry Potter novels and films, and take the “Making of Harry Potter” tour at the Warner Bros. Studios.
  5. Venture to Oxford and other sites beyond London to see the abbeys, castles, and great halls featured in the HP films, while looking for traces of Hogsmeade in English medieval villages.
  6. Develop your own projects and site visits in response to contemporary criticism, close reading of the novels, and your enhanced understanding of British culture.