College starts 'Battling Against Voldemort' course

Published September 25, 2008 at 9:27 PM
by Jeremy
from The Leaky Cauldron (via MTV Movie News)

MTV has a new articleopens in new window online, focusing on the classes being taught at Swarthmore College. In particular, one course Battling Against Voldemort has become so popular, they have developed a lottery system to assign who can enter the course.

"They analyze each book, looking at themes and metaphors, reading up on scholarly perspectives, going over Jungian archetypes. For a discussion of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, they were guided by a critical essay by Veronica Schanoes, called "Cruel Heroes and Treacherous Texts," to explore the ambiguities in the constructions of good and evil and the unreliable narratives of Harry's world. It made students understand that even Harry himself can be an unreliable narrator."

They also discuss some deeper matters, such as what may have become of Umbridge after she was carried away by the centaurs in Order of the Phoenix:

"Haven't we been led to believe that the difference between Death Eaters and those who are not is the use of the Unforgivable Curses?" Finberg asked the class when the discussion turned to Harry's usage of the torturing Cruciatus curse."He uses it on Bellatrix; he uses it on Carrow," Hannah Edelman observed. "He also uses the [controlling] Imperius curse." "He is just really upset when he uses that curse on Bellatrix," Matlock said. "I don't think that means he's a bad person. It just means he's more human.""Do you think J.K. Rowling is playing with us?" Matt Bowers asked. "Do you think she's telling us, 'Look, you thought Harry was a good guy, but what if this were from the point of view of Draco?' "But Harry would never use [the killing curse] Avada Kedavra," Soares argued. "This is really dorky, but a hero, like Superman would never kill Lex Luther." The class laughed."

To view the video report, click hereopens in new window.

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