The generation who grew up with the Harry Potter series is now in college. This course will invite students to revisit these popular books of their childhood with an eye towards critical assessment. How do we approach books differently when we intend to evaluate them, rather than read them for entertainment? In what ways can critical reading enhance our enjoyment and appreciation of a work? Can we lose something in the transition?
The world of Harry Potter has been adapted into many other forms of media. Best known of these adaptations is of course the films, but there are also audiobooks (award-winning in their own right), videogames, board and card games, Lego sets, memes and Tumblrs, fan-made art, fan fiction, and a theme park (!). We will consider the changes that are made in adapting a story into a new medium and the impact of such changes upon the world, characters, themes, and narrative structures of the story. Indeed, the range and amount of Harry Potter adaptations has become so extensive that we will not be able to cover them all in our assigned course materials; rather, students will be encouraged to find some adaptations and report upon them to the class. Students will also be asked to propose a new adaptation.