Harry Potter and the Environment Honors Seminar: A research and teaching honors project experience

This paper reports on a course developed and offered for the first time in spring 2020, co-taught by undergraduate Madison Stump and Honors/English professor Dr. Heath Diehl. The seminar, entitled “Harry Potter and the Environment”, is based on four lenses of ecocriticism: affective ecocriticism, queer ecology, cultural ecology, and eco-feminism. Students will read the first, fifth, and seventh books in the Harry Potter series. The Harry Potter series, though not traditionally studied as a work of environmental fiction, can be analyzed through ecocriticism in order to create conversations of the environment that are disengaged from the bipartisan nature of current environmental discussions. This presentation will include the research/planning methods, background research/preparation, and format of the seminar. It will also include preliminary findings of the environmental problems students have connected to the Harry Potter series. This seminar reinforces the interdisciplinary nature of honors programs and the goal of honors programs to provide meaningful experiences for undergraduate students.

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Presentation in two parts

Part 1

Part 2

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  • Paper Presentation
  • Ecocriticism, environmental humanities, literary analysis
  • Madi Stump, working with professor Dr Health Diehl, has researched and planned a 4000-level two-credit honors seminar. She will be co-teaching the seminar in spring 2020. This presentation discusses methods and format of the seminar, and the power of an interdisciplinary honors education to provide meaningful experiences across disciplines.

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