We recently told you about Saint Leo University’s unique class called The World of Harry Potter in this Q&A with Dr. Kathryn Duncan. As part of the course, students took a trip across the pond to England and Scotland in November to explore a variety of attractions referenced in the wildly popular book series and movies.
If you’ve always thought the books in the wildly popular Harry Potter series were only meant to be read for fun, think again.
This fall, Saint Leo University currently has an undergraduate English course devoted entirely to studying the literary brilliance of the best-selling book series of all time. Fittingly, the class is simply called The World of Harry Potter.
We caught up with Dr. Kathryn Duncan, an English professor who teaches the course, to find out what inspired her to offer such a curriculum and what types of unique activities her students are doing.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for The World of Harry Potter Course, and when did Saint Leo begin offering it?
A: I first taught this class four years ago, and it was the most fun I had teaching in my life.
Since we’re now celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series this year, we decided what better time than now to bring it back? There’s even a display for the series at the British Library.hARRY hA
Harry Potter is very much back on the radar and is so important and relevant to this current generation of students.
Q: Are you a big fan of the series yourself?
A: Absolutely, and that’s an understatement.
I’ve read and reread the books in this series more times than I can count, and I’ve watched and re-watched all of the movies. I’ve also shared all of this with my daughter. We’re both big fans now.
Q: Why do you think this series has been so popular among younger readers?
A: J. K. Rowling truly understands childhood development. She addresses so many issues of the younger age group of those growing up. The messages she communicates are so important.
Also, death is one of the major themes in this series. It’s often covered up in Western culture, which makes it larger and scarier for some, but Rowling addresses it in a way that kids can easily understand the human condition.
The books are very well-written, and I see influences from Jane Austin and Charles Dickens in Rowling’s writing style.
Q: Which books are covered in this class?
A: All of the books in the series are covered, which consist of:
Topics: Harry Potter