London Harry Potter Program
The London Harry Potter Program
Because of the continuing high interest in the Harry Potter books among Seaver students, and because of the Pepperdine London facility and long-standing presence there and elsewhere in the UK, we have decided to offer this wonderful and unique literary opportunity. Pepperdine students also have a high interest level in general in the relationship between literary works and the film adaptations of those works.
As in any of Pepperdine's literature courses, students can relate the literature to their own lives by comparing and contrasting their moral values and attitudes toward faith in God, good and evil, gender issues, and other real-life matters to those expressed in the literature. "Students will demonstrate close reading skills, will analyze texts through oral and written assignments, and will develop a deeper understanding of literature in relation to its historical and cultural contexts."
July 4th, 2018 - August 2nd, 2018
The dates listed above are departure dates from LAX and from the program location back to LAX.
Course Offerings (these courses are not yet updated to reflect the summer of 2018)
Students will enroll in:
- ENG 380: Selected Topics "Repotting Harry Potter" (4) * Fulfills Upper Division Literature GE / Prerequisite: ENG 101 or equivalent
Examines a given topic in literary studies. The course may be focused on a theme, a movement, a historical period, or a genre. May be repeated once when topics vary.
Purpose and Mission
Students will be expected to have already read all seven Harry Potter books. In the Summer 2018 class "Repotting Harry Potter" students will (1) experience a close re-examination of the rich texts of the Potter books, (2) reevaluate these books they first encountered as children's literature in the broader context of adult fantasy literature, (3) attempt to account for the unprecedented success and universal appeal of these books, and (4) gain an appreciation for the successes and failures of transforming a widely read literary text into film.
Dr. James Thomas
Professor of English, Humanities/Teacher Education Division, Seaver College
Dr. Thomas has previously traveled in the United Kingdom, including visits to Pepperdine's current and past facilities in London. He led the London Harry Potter program for the first time in the Summer of 2016. He has spent time in rural areas of the country as well, chiefly in southeastern England. As well as visiting, Dr. Thomas has presented papers on the Harry Potter books at the University of Kent and at the University of St. Andrews. Dr. Thomas is well regarded among academia in the UK, regularly corresponding regarding educational matters and also about Ms. Rowling's books.
Dr. Thomas is the author of a number of articles and reviews on the Potter books, the co-author of Harry Potter Smart Talk (with John Granger and Travis Prinzi, 2010), and the author of Rowling Revisited: Return Trips to Harry, Fantastic Beasts, Quidditch, and Beedle the Bard (2010) and Repotting Harry Potter: A Professor's Book-by-Book Guide for the Serious Re-Reader (2009). The latter two works were featured at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in 2010 and 2011. Dr. Thomas was interviewed regarding Rowling's books on The Takeaway on National Public Radio, and by the Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News, and other newspapers. He was also quoted in the TIME magazine profile of J. K. Rowling when she was a finalist for Person of the Year for 2007. Over the past eight years, Dr. Thomas has made formal presentations at literary conferences on the Harry Potter books held in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States—in Canterbury, St. Andrews, Toronto, Orlando, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas. Dr. Thomas has considerable experience in teaching these works to undergraduates, having taught courses at Pepperdine's Seaver College on Rowling's books for the past several years.