CSU San Marcos offering “Harry Potter” study abroad program
Harry Potter fans at California State University, San Marcos have the opportunity to apply for a special Harry Potter-themed study abroad program. The three-week program, which will take place in the UK next June, gives students a chance to explore many of the places that inspired the series, as well as British culture.
Along the way, students will see:
Scotland Yard (the inspiration for the Ministry of Magic), King’s Cross [s]tation (the location of Platform 9 ¾ where students from the novels depart on the Hogwarts Express), and Borough Market (where filmmakers shot scenes of the Leaky Cauldron Inn). Also on the tour are Gloucester Cathedral (a stand-in for […] Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two films) and the Australia House (aka Gringotts Wizarding Bank), along with a ride through the Scottish Highlands on the Jacobite steam train used for the Hogwarts Express in the movies.
But Professor Linda Pershing, who will lead the course, and currently teaches a class called Harry Potter: Culture and Folklore in J.K. Rowling’s Magical World, says that there is a serious side to the course. The current course teaches students to
read Rowling’s fantasy series with a critical eye, discussing cultural issues from the realm of Harry Potter, such as the roles of social institutions, love and death, class and race issues and politics.
Along the way, the study abroad students
will identify and critically analyze one significant way in which culture and location in Great Britain shaped the Harry Potter series. For example, these might include how systems of social stratification such as economic class or ancestry (e.g., British upper classes and a focus on `blood’ lineage) in Great Britain are represented in the books and films or how J.K. Rowling utilizes prominent landmarks and historic sites in Great Britain to create a cultural setting for the novels.
Peshing further said about the trip,
We are visiting nearly all but two or three Harry Potter-related sites in Great Britain. That’s made for some complex planning.
You can read more about the program, including how to register, here.
If you’re not lucky enough to be able to register for this course but still want a fill of all things academic and Harry Potter from the comfort of your home, check out MuggleNet’s Academia podcast.
Are you a CSU San Marcos student who is registering for the course? Let us know in the comments!