Universities teach 'Harry Potter' classes
Wednesday 17 November 2010
In colleges across the US and beyond, Harry Potter has inspired courses for students. Not to be confused with Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry's Charms, Potions or Transfiguration classes, the following list includes imaginative academic subjects, as reported by Moviefone.
These courses, provided by English, medieval studies, theology, and physics departments are not prerequisites for this weekend's release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One, the latest and penultimate installment of the film franchise.
Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion
Durham University; Durham, England
Considered the first Potter-themed course in England, this class uses the books to examine prejudice, citizenship and bullying in society, in the education program.
Six Degrees of Harry Potter
St. Catherine College in St. Paul, Minnesota
A literature class requiring the reading of all seven J.K. Rowling books for group discussions. The final project lets students create a Hogwarts character for a computer game.
The Science of Harry Potter
Frostburg State University; Frostburg, Maryland
Professor George Plitnik teaches basic physics and cutting-edge science through Harry Potter books, using Einstein's Theory of Relativity and applying antigravity research to flying broomsticks.
Knights of Old and Harry Potter
Georgetown University; Washington, DC
In the Medieval Studies Program, Potter novels are compared to English, French and German medieval literature and narratives on finding one's identity.
Harry Potter's Library
Kansas State University; Manhattan, Kansas
From Professor Philip Nel, who authored the scholarly J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Novels: A Reader's Guide. The class examines the Potter phenomenon through the novels and books that influenced the series like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Golden Compass ( Northern Lights).
Christian Theology and Harry Potter
Yale University; New Haven, Connecticut
A Divinity School course exploring themes such as sin, evil and resurrection as found in the Potter book series.
Battling Against Voldemort
Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
This introduction to literary theory delves into "why we are so driven to invent stories about battling inhuman powers to learn what it means to be human" through analysis of the Potter books, and discusses the use of curses.
Potter is also the topic of a traveling exhibit, The Science, Magic, and Medicine of Harry Potter's World, through December 11 at Ohio State's Marion Library. Created by the National Library of Medicine, the exhibition is scheduled in academic libraries through 2012.
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