Study “Harry Potter” and International Relations this summer!

The Harry Potter novels are becoming increasingly popular in college level courses. Another exciting study opportunity involving Harry Potter has been announced by the American Public University and the Policy Studies Organization.

The American Public University runs a series of online, free of charge courses, known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The Policy Studies Organization, which is based in Washington, DC, has announced that they are running a brand new course this summer together with the American Public University.

The course, titled International Politics in this World and Beyond: Wizards, Fiction and Political Fact in a Global Age, will look at Harry Potter, alongside the works of Tolkien and the world of Star Wars.

The course outline is as follows:

From Hogwarts and the Shire, to a Galaxy Far Far Away, you’ll explore spellbinding political themes of widely popular fantasy fiction and their relationship to international issues confronting our world today in this 8-week course. Each unit starts with themes in the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars series and connects them with three critical topics: identity, violence and social control. In this college-level course, you’ll examine:

  • Globalization and how related technology advances transfigure theories and practices of collective identity (e.g., national, ethnic, gender, and ideological)
  • Implications for how violence and exclusion are perpetrated and justified by state and non-state actors
  • Contemporary state policies used to reassert firmer control over their populations, national identities, and porous borders

Through real-world topics on state sovereignty, political power, discrimination, the global war on terror, human rights, media consolidation, and technological advances—you’ll immerse [yourself] in an educational journey that plays out parallel narratives of good and evil, which are the foundations for the amazing stories created by J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, and George Lucas.

The course is free to register for and will begin on June 23. The course will run for eight weeks in total. There are no requirements to taking the course – all you need is interest and some time!

Make sure you register today. You can find out more about the course and register here. While you’re waiting for the course to start, make sure you check out MuggleNet’s Academia podcast here.

Will you be signing up for the course? Let us know your thoughts and whether you’re looking forward to taking the course!

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