Session: Fall 2012

HONR:2130:0SCA (143:053:SCA)    Hnrs Sem Literary Visual Performing Arts
19 of 19 enrolled    


Subtitle: Harry Potter and the Quest for Enlightenment
Sem. Hrs:



University College

Admin Home:

HONR:2130 ( 143:053 )

General Catalog:

Small-class learning with a faculty member to appreciate, analyze, create, or perform art.


Harry Potter and the Quest for Enlightenment

A new cultural phenomenon began in 1997 when Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released. Copies flew off store shelves as readers of all ages were captivated by Harry’s story. It was as though the novel had been rediscovered and reading became everyone’s favorite activity. Subsequent volumes continued to mesmerize readers, and soon thereafter they listened to audio versions and watched cinematic adaptations. Why was the Harry Potter series so appealing? What was it about Harry’s story or that of Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Hagrid, Dumbledore, Dobby, or Neville Longbottom that resonated with such a diverse populace? How and why did readers develop deep personal connections to the series? How was Pottermania created and sustained? In this course we will analyze the Harry Potter series for the insights it provides on friendship, loyalty, finance, the law, social justice, ethnicity, social media, sports (Quidditch), music (The Weird Sisters), and our relationship with animals and their world. Through a close reading of the novels we will consider their place in the literary canon. We will also pinpoint where influences from this canon can be found in the novels. Finally, we will study the Harry Potter series as a cultural phenomenon. We will analyze the impact the series had on readership and popular culture in America and Great Britain. This course is taught by Donna S. Parsons.


If you are not a member of the University of Iowa Honors Program, you may contact the course instructor in order to request permission to enroll.

Approved GE:
Students admitted for Summer 2011 and after:
  • Lit, Visual & Perfmg Arts
Students admitted before Summer 2011:
  • Fine Arts









Restricted to Honors Program members

Time and Location:
3:30P - 6:00P Th 134 BHC
Minimum Fee Hours:
Enrollments in this section for 0 - 3 will be charged as 3 semester hours
Course Fees:

Yes - 2 times

Grading Instructions:


Donna Parsons (Primary Instructor)
Textbooks and Materials:
The following textbook and material information is for planning purposes only and could be modified. Final textbook information will be available four weeks before the start of the semester. Please check then to finalize your textbook and material purchases:

Cross References
(i.e. Also offered as):
Co-Existing Sections
(i.e. Separate sections meeting in the same room):
Management Type:
DCE On Campus Crs (SC*)
University College
Department: University of Iowa Honors Program ( Website     |   General catalog   )
Director: Arthur Spisak

Address: 420 Blank Honors Center (BHC)
+1 (319)- 335 - 1681

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