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Harry Potter subject of new course

Harry Potter subject of new course

J.K. Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter books will be among the topics covered in a new course being offered by Massey University’s department of English and Media Studies next year.

The 200 level paper, brainchild of senior lecturer Deborah Laurs, will look at the works of two international children’s authors – J.K. Rowling and Roald Dahl – and two New Zealand authors – Margaret Mahey and Joy Cowley.

The craze of the day in literary terms is, of course, Harry Potter. Many New Zealand children will no doubt be dragging their witting - or unwitting - caregivers down to the local bookshop this Friday for the latest installment in the life of this eleven year old boy from London.

Is Harry Potter just another ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ fad, or a childhood classic in the making? Mrs Laurs believes the latter will prove to be the case. She says the books should not be dismissed as frivolous children’s stories, rather they are worthy of serious University study.

“The stories are complex and multi-layered to the point where many adults are reading and enjoying them – as has been proven by the UK release of plain covered editions for the more discreet Harry Potter reader.”

The course will have two components, one will look at the success of some children’s stories to date and discuss the formula that ensures their continued readership, often years after they were penned. The other component will focus on the students trying their hand at their own literary accomplishment.

It will be limited to an intake of 30 students and will require the completion of a pre-requisite paper - either 139:106 (Writing Theory and Practice) or 139:123 (Creative Writing).

For more information, please contact
Naomi Milner,
Public Affairs: 0-6- 350 6282 / 021 343308 (ah) 0-6- 3588 366
Deborah Laurs
English and Media Studies 0-6- 350 5799 Xtn 7276

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