Everybody knows the College is a magical place – but, for the students taking a Harry Potter course, it’s even easier to get wrapped up in the fantasy of it all.
“I start the semester just like they do at Hogwarts – by letting the Sorting Hat assign each student to one of the four houses,” says English professor Trish Ward ’78, who started teaching J.K. Rowling’s popular series in 2009. “Unfortunately, though, my sorting hat doesn’t read minds or talk.”
But ENGL 190 isn’t all treacle tarts and quidditch. Somewhere between the 4,000 pages of reading, five papers, house project, quizzes, tests and final exam – the magic can wear off.
“I think the creative project at the end of the semester helps restore that initial enthusiasm,” says Ward, pointing out models of Harry’s pet owl and the Mirror of Erised on her office shelves. “They come up with some great stuff: fan fiction, recipes. One student even made a YouTube video applying makeup for the characters. They really get imaginative with it.”