Before the first meeting, the Rosenbach will send the Zoom link for course meetings.
Finally. Your owl has arrived. Beginning this summer, The Rosenbach is using Zoom as a portal to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the magical world it serves. We’ll meet online every month to discuss the entire Harry Potter series.
There’s no question that Harry Potter, an adolescent boy who began with little more than challenging relatives and an interesting scar, has changed the world of children’s literature. It can be argued that he has, in a pretty vivid (bookish!) way, changed the world. Regardless, Harry occupies a permanent and elevated place in the pantheon of literature, as the keystone of this sharp, incredibly easy-to-read, modern fairytale series about magic and growing up and making an enormous difference to the world around you just by doing the right thing. This is a course about exploring what makes a seemingly simple novel so popular—and potentially so important and enduring, using this iconic seven-book series as our primary material. We will also read a selection of complementary pieces, i.e. classic fairy- and folktales, critical commentary on the series, and excerpts from other works in the Potter canon. There will be lots of reading, lively pondering, and livelier discussion. There might even be some spellcraft. Or chocolate frogs.
Previous reading of the series is not necessary. It’s enough that you’ve come to it now.
Melissa Jensen is a Lecturer in English at the University of Pennsylvania, where she specializes in Children’s and Adolescent Literature. Most recently she taught a course on Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women for The Rosenbach.
About Rosenbach Courses
Revisit beloved classics or experience new ones with Rosenbach courses. Book lovers delve into fiction, history, and poetry with the guidance of a literary expert and the company of other readers. See all upcoming courses.