Just read that Durham University is running a new course this autumn on the Harry Potter books. Reminded me of the weekend I was in City Lit's staff room and saw a notice advising that MAGIC had been moved to a different room. For a moment I rather enjoyed the fantasy that spells and potions were being developed down the corridor (homework: find two sources of Highwayman's nail clippings). The module at Durham is part of the BA in Education Studies and students will study such issues as peer pressure, good citizenship and ideals of adulthood.
"It will also explore ways in which the Harry Potter series has helped to re-brand Britain.”That takes a bit of the oooomph out of the broomstick but yes, I can see how it works to put the iconic series in a wider social and cultural context, especially for the generation which has grown up with them .
Any ideas for other serious courses from unlikely sources? Pattern cutting from the last half of The Color Purple? (Remember the trousers Celie makes into a thriving business - I always wanted a pair).