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Harry Potter and His Predecessors

Happy belated birthday to ithiliana! I hope your birthday was wonderful and your next year will be fabulous.

If you missed sittingduck1313's Halloween post, be sure to check it out for some great links.

Several people have asked about my Spring 2007 classes. (Thanks!) I will be teaching two sections of the First-Year Seminar (mine will focus on history through science fiction: "Ways of Knowing: Knowing Today by Imagining Tomorrow") and one upper-division Liberal Studies class, "Harry Potter and His Predecessors." The Harry Potter course will be offered completely online, so it is available to distance learners, but enrollees must be admitted Belmont students (although they may seek non-degree admission such as transient or audit admission rather than standard admission).


This course discusses the ancestors to the Harry Potter phenomenon, examines the specific works and traditions that inform the Harry Potter universe, and, most importantly, considers why the Harry Potter books and films are so popular today. In the process, students analyze 1) how the young readers' fiction of a given historical period prioritizes certain lessons and values, 2) what this tells us about the way a culture conceptualizes childhood in a given era and how this changes across time, and 3) how the lessons and values of young readers' fiction can reinforce and/or subvert the mainstream status quo. This course takes both a theoretical and historical approach to popular literature in general and J.K. Rowling's works in particular.



And here is today's quote:
" He was a nerd on a grand scale, though— a heroic nerd, a pallid, translucent, Mallarméan nerd, a nerd who suffered for his art."
- Luc Sante on H.P. Lovecraft, from "The Heroic Nerd," New York Review of Books

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 8th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
I would love for you to do so! For the Harry Potter class, you don't even have to be in town. :)
elicia8
Nov. 7th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
This sounds like a cool class--I especially like the bit about how the lessons and values of young readers' fiction can reinforce and/or subvert the mainstream status quo.

Or just subverting, because that's the best thing about reading! *arches eyebrows sinister-like*
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 8th, 2006 01:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks! That's the most interesting part to me. And you're right - it's the best thing about reading!
dannyboy8406
Nov. 7th, 2006 05:13 pm (UTC)
Wow... my college was never that cool :(
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 8th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC)
Aw! :( But thanks.
lin4gondor
Nov. 7th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
The class in "Ways of Knowing: Knowing Today by Imagining Tomorrow" is what has me wishing I lived a little further south. Just the title has me thinking and imagining already!
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 8th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC)
Oooh, fabulous! Thank you. I really do love the material I get to teach in that course.
faramirgirl
Nov. 7th, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
I would love to one of your students, for I know that I would learn so much from you.
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 8th, 2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
What a lovely thing to say! Thank you so much. *huge hugs*
witchcat07
Nov. 8th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC)
Wow, you teach the coolest classes! I may actually have to consider this one, it sounds too good to miss.
witchcat07
Nov. 8th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
Okay, have looked at the nondegree admissions and am wondering what the transient admission entails (don't quite understand how they put it). Am thinking I may have to do the audit admission, as I have only an associate's degree myself. Was too lazy to go for my BSN.
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 8th, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for considering this! I am so thrilled that you're interested in it. :) I'm not sure about the details of those plans, but I know 615-460-6785 (Admissions) is a good number for questions. I hope that helps.
witchcat07
Nov. 9th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)
Okay, thanx! One more question, when does the spring semester start?
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 9th, 2006 01:21 am (UTC)
Registration begins on January 9 (the majority of students register during early registration, which begins November 13), and classes begin on January 10. Let me know what happens. If you plan to register in January, I can go ahead and forward the materials you'll need before then.
dracschick
Nov. 8th, 2006 03:10 am (UTC)
Sounds good......
Good luck with your classes. I always wanted to teach a Dracula or a springsteen class:)
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 8th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Sounds good......
Thanks! Oooh, both of your class ideas sound very interesting indeed!
valancourtbooks
Nov. 10th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
What texts are you using for the Harry Potter class?

BTW, I'm at a conference in Tempe and I met a prof from Sweden who'd actually heard of Emilie Carlin and the Magic Goblet ;)
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 11th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
What texts are you using for the Harry Potter class?

We're starting out with essays on the concept of fantasy and fantasy readership by MacDonald, Chesterton, Tolkien, and Lewis. We're reading each of the seven HP books, and then a series of essays by critics such as Harold Bloom (and several of the other folks I mentioned here). Then we're going through a packet of some essays I've picked out of different HP anthologies, such as The Ivory Tower and HP and HP's World: Multidisciplinary Critical Perspectives. Each of the students will also be picking a classic "predecessor" novel from a list I've created, reading and writing an essay about it, and then presenting his/her "review" for the class.

BTW, I'm at a conference in Tempe and I met a prof from Sweden who'd actually heard of Emilie Carlin and the Magic Goblet ;)

Seriously? Fantastic! Did he/she have any impressions of it or thoughts about it, or the fact it's so hard to find?

I'm psyched about it. So far I haven't been able to discern any means of combining scanned PDF pages into one big file. (My scanner is quite a modest little thing.) How horrible would it be if I had to send you numbered files for you to combine on your end?

How is the conference going? Well, I hope!
valancourtbooks
Nov. 12th, 2006 03:19 am (UTC)
The Swedish prof was a little shocked that we're reprinting not only the Magic Goblet, but also the Gothic novel "Swedish Mysteries". I think she thought I have some great interest in Swedish lit. Anyway, she's publishing her edition of Shelley's The Cenci with us now, so that's cool.

As far as making a PDF, you'll probably have to scan each page individually and then using Adobe Acrobat, you should be able to choose "Create PDF from Multiple Files" or something like that. If you don't have Acrobat, I think you can get a free trial on the Adobe site.

The HP class sounds great! I can't wait for book 7 :)
eldritchhobbit
Nov. 15th, 2006 02:08 am (UTC)
Anyway, she's publishing her edition of Shelley's The Cenci with us now, so that's cool.

Fabulous news! Have you noticed that everywhere you go you impress people and bring them on board? Well done indeed.

Thanks so much for the directions re: creating one file from multiple ones. I was trying to do that on the scanning end, not realizing I could do it via Adobe Acrobat. Your explanation helped tremendously.

I can't wait for HP Book 7, either! Thanks for the kind words re: the class. This full week is set aside for registration for next semester, but by lunch on Monday the HP class was full. Ack!
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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