Fall 2021 Honors College 'Retro Readings' Courses to Focus on Harry Potter, Supreme Court

Fall 2021 Honors College 'Retro Readings' Courses to Focus on Harry Potter, Supreme Court
Peter Aaron

Next fall, honors students can delve into the Harry Potter books or study the inner workings of the Supreme Court, one of the most misunderstood branches of our government. These two topics will be explored in the Fall 2021 Honors College Retro Readings courses, which focus on classic texts, institutions, and concepts viewed through a contemporary, multidisciplinary lens. Courses may focus on an author, an artist, a composer or even a revolutionary idea. 

"These weekly 75-minute, seminar-style discussions are designed to fit into even the busiest schedules," said John Treat, director of interdisciplinary and curricular learning. "Our goal is to pair students with expert faculty to provide them with a 'Great Books' experience, one of the hallmarks of a liberal arts education."  

Honors students need not apply to participate in these courses, but seats are limited. Register as early as possible on UA Connect during your enrollment period to ensure you get a seat.

The Fall 2021 Honors College Retro Reading courses are:

Harry PotterIn this course students will examine how the Harry Potter books build upon and transform common literary tropes in order to question whether J.K. Rowling has produced something new or a reproduction. Led by Chelsea Hodge, Honors College director of grants and research innovation and resident Harry Potter expert, they will analyze Rowling's textual treatment of race, class and gender, and examine broadly how the books have influenced society and culture in the late 20th century and beyond in an effort to answer these questions: Are the books fundamentally progressive or do they reinforce Western cultural norms? How are the books received and, at times, transformed outside of the U.S. and Britain? Have the meaning and cultural impact of the books changed as they have become increasingly franchised? Throughout the class, students will discuss J.K. Rowling's apparent desire to be the sole arbiter of how the books should be interpreted, as well as her controversial personal statements made online regarding the transgender community. Through this discussion they will attempt to answer the question: can an artistic product be separated from its creator? And if it can, should it?

Supreme CourtThis course led by Mark Killenbeck, the Wylie H. Davis Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law, will promote an understanding of the often-misunderstood Supreme Court, its docket and work, and the important role it plays in our nation. Both myths and realities will be explored, using actual cases and secondary materials. Killenbeck is the author of numerous books, chapters, articles, and papers, with a special focus on federalism, American constitutional history, and affirmative action and diversity. His articles have appeared in a number of major national law journals, including the Supreme Court Review, California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review, and Hastings Law Journal. 




Hiba Tahir, editor
Honors College
479-575-7678, ht005@uark.edu

Kendall Curlee, director of communications
Honors College
479-575-2024, kcurlee@uark.edu


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