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