You Can Now Study the Harry Potter Course for Real, and It’s the “Letter” All of Us Have Been Waiting For
Every Potterhead knows one (sad) truth — if an owl doesn’t bring you a letter on your 11th birthday, you will never study witchcraft at Hogwarts. However, some muggles have an opportunity to dive into the wizarding world. A university in India offers a course entirely devoted to Harry Potter law. And we had to hop on our broomsticks to find more information about it.
At Bright Side, we are sure that this is not just an exciting opportunity. If you aren’t going to become a student, even the course description can help you see something new both in the book and your life.
The course, called “An Interface Between Fantasy Fiction Literature and Law: Special Focus on Rowling’s Potterverse,” was designed for students in their 4th and 5th years, who had read all the books “at least twice, if not more.” Its main goal is to encourage creative thinking. And they do it by looking for legal parallels between real-life and wizarding world problems.
Professor Shouvik Kumar Guha, who developed the course, believes that in the current system students only learn the black letter of law. And it’s not possible to predict if they will be able to effectively use laws in situations they have never faced before. That’s why he decided to apply both Indian and wizards legal principles to different topics that could be met in our real life.
At first blush, it seems that there is nothing in common between our world and the wizard’s world. While they study magic, drink butterbeer, and spend time with ghosts and weird creatures, we sometimes even can’t find a TV remote in our apartments, and there are no spells that could help. But some issues are ever-present, and they are what the course is about.
The course discussion will address controversial subjects like unforgivable curses (torture, murder, possession of another person), the innocence of Sirius Black, and the marginalization of werewolves, squibs, and giants. In addition, the course explores how The Daily Prophet, the magical newspaper, has become an outlet of official propaganda.
Problems like discrimination or slavery often make headlines in India and the professor hopes that these additional classes will encourage students to think critically about real social and class rights, without previous value judgements.
Here is the full list of topics that are going to be discussed during the course:
- Legal traditions and institutions, including liberty and the rule of law in a magical society, and bureaucracy in the ministry of magic
- Unforgivable curses, Wizengamot trials, the innocence of Sirius Black, and the persecution of Tom Riddle
- Social values, identity, and class rights as seen in the enslavement of house elves or the marginalization of werewolves, giants, and centaurs
- Contracts and agency — for instance, unbreakable vows and Snape and the order of the Phoenix
- Quidditch and sports law at Hogwarts
Would you like to take this course? If you have any thoughts about the topics above, feel free to initiate a discussion right in the comments!
Preview photo credit Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / Warner Bros.