Literature & the Performing Arts

Re-Reading Harry Potter

Instructor: Eric Olson
OAK / LITPA-200 / 15 sessions
Prerequisite: Writing 2
June 2–July 7 (no class 7/3), Mon./Tues./Thurs., 1-4 p.m.

If you don't know the name Harry Potter, you've been in a coma for the last seventeen years. J.K. Rowling's seven-book series has sold over 450 million copies in 200 countries, has been translated into 67 languages, and has spawned eight film adaptations. But while we've all heard about the success of Rowling's franchise, Harry Potter's minority status as a "children's book," rather than "high literature," has limited the analysis of the books to how financially successful they have become.

Part of a long genealogy of children's fantasy writing, from the Grimm Brothers to Roald Dahl, the Harry Potter series is much more than just children’s fiction. As with all popular literary forms, Rowling’s texts contain an ambiguity between the author’s intended and unintended meanings, and in this class, we will explore -- both to praise and critique -- the mysterious world of Harry Potter.

From Rowling's subversion of fairy tale archetypes to her treatment of class, race, and gender, from the dissolution of the traditional good vs. evil dialectic to the war on terror—this class will delve into a variety of contemporary issues that both shape and are shaped by the cultural juggernaut that is Harry Potter.

This course satisfies a 200-level Literature/Performance or an H&S Elective.

Writing for Artists, Architects, & Designers

Instructor: Marianne Rogoff
SF/ LITPA-320 / 15 sessions
Prerequisites: Writing 2, Foundations in Critical Studies, Intro to the Modern Arts
July 14–August 14, Mon./Wed./Thurs., 6:30–9:30 p.m.

Be prepared to speak and write about yourself and your work. Examine common vocabulary from art, architecture, and design, and analyze where definitions overlap and differ. Study books and periodicals from scholarly, commercial, and popular realms as models for practicing various modes of professional and creative writing: practice the vocabulary of critique, details of description, language of symbols, appropriate tone. Develop individual voice, style, and stance measured against traditional forms. Course culminates with portfolio presentations where you present your work and speak about your aesthetics, influences, skills, and purposes.

This course satisfies a 300-level H&S class or an H&S Elective. Does not satisfy the LITPA-200 / WRLIT-304 requirement.

Mentored Study in Writing

Instructor: Hugh Behm–Steinberg
SF / LITPA-300
Prerequisite: Writing 2, Jr. Standing
June 2–August 1, meeting times to be scheduled with individual students

Mentored study provides one–on–one study over the summer with a faculty mentor. It gives students the freedom to pursue their own intellectual work seriously and intensively, while the faculty mentor engages and guides them through in–depth discussion and detailed critical commentary. In consultation with the mentor, a student will also incorporate relevant reading into the course. This reading provides the basis for reflective or critical writing by the student that becomes part of the overall dialogue. This course is for students at all levels, from those just starting out to those who are interested in pursuing more advanced projects, and it has been proven especially useful to those working on thesis projects. Meetings are regular and frequent and are based on writing the student produces.

This course satisfies a 300-level Literature/Performance or an H&S Elective.