T4938 – A Wizard of Their Age: Harry Potter in Context

London, Oxford, Edinburgh
Faculty: Kate Glassman and Jenny McDougal
01/02/2018 – 01/23/2018

This course invites students to engage with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels beyond first encounters and early affection to deeper engagement with their contexts and complexities.

Academic Overview
A Wizard of Their Age: Harry Potter in Context” invites students to engage with J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels beyond first encounters and early affection to deeper engagement with contexts, critiques, and complexities.  While the course will center on a careful analysis of the seventh novel, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” it will require familiarity with the entire series, as well as several assigned critical texts. Beginning in London, we will establish the British cultural, historical, and linguistic roots of Harry Potter, then travel on a meandering train ride to Edinburgh, where Rowling lived and wrote.  We will visit relevant sites throughout Great Britain, exiting through Oxford to experience Hogwarts’ school culture in diverse authentic settings, and then finish off with an immersive experience in The Warner Brothers Studio in Leavesden.

Program Fee
Cost: $5135 – $5,435
*Each home institution may have supplementary fees in addition to the price listed.  Comprehensive Fee includes:  Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, hostel (Oxford only) and hotel accommodations in multi-bedded, twin and triple rooms, continental breakfast daily, four lunches, one high tea, and three dinners (subject to change).

At least one humanities-based liberal arts core course that is both writing and reading intensive.

Required Readings

All students will be required to read Book Seven of the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” during the J-term course. In preparation for intensive study of that novel, they will be required to read (or invited to re-read) Books 1-6. Students sorted into small groups/Houses will also be responsible for reading and presenting on one critical text from among the following: 

“The Story of Britain: From the Romans to the Present” by Rebecca Fraser; “British Literature: A Historical Overview, Vol A” Ed. Kate Flint et. Al; “Mythology of the British Isles” by Geoffrey Ashe; “The Oxford History of English” by Lynda Mugglestone.

Finally, we will assign short academic articles for class discussions, to be made available online at the course site, including several essays from Gisele Anatol’s “Reading Harry Potter” and several from “A Wizard of Their Age.”

A description of the requirements and assessment methods, including percentages, is in the attached syllabus. Assignments will include an early group presentation, required reflective journals, a final paper, and a synthesis essay. Again, this is a seminar-style, discussion-based course, and for that reason, attendance at class meetings and site visits will be mandatory. Missing one class meeting/site visit will affect their final grade.

100 points Group Participation and Attendance
30 points Focused Reflective Journal
75 points Class Presentation
75 points Reflective Paper
20 points Final Exam & Quizzes 

Program Directors
Kate Glassman, Adjunct Professor, St. Catherine University, (651) 690.8797, e-mail: kgglassman@stkate.edu

Jenny McDougal, Adjunct Professor, St. Catherine University, (651) 690.8797, e-mail: jemcdougal@stkate.edu

Description of Faculty Directors
Kate Glassman is an Adjunct Professor of English and the CORE at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.  She teaches intermediate literature as well as critical reading, writing, and thinking skills to students at St. Catherine’s.  Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of pop culture and media studies with the literary canon, and building a larger discussion around storytelling in the world today. She was a contributor and co-editor of A Wizard of Their Age: Critical Essays from the Harry Potter Generation, and is currently working on volume two

Jenny McDougal is an Adjunct Professor of English at St. Catherine University.  She lives and writes in St Paul, Minnesota where she teaches introductory literature to first-year students and non-majors at St. Catherine University. Recently she has taught the course called “Six Degrees of Harry Potter”. Her teaching focus includes incorporating elements of Literary Theory and Feminist Theory into assignments and discussion along with integrating student’s own writing and poetry. Jenny’s creative writing and poetry has been published and can be found in Water-Stone Review, Nimrod International Journal of Poetry and Prose, Paper Darts, Red Bird, Dinosaur Bees, and elsewhere. Jenny was a contributor and co-editor of A Wizard of Their Age: Critical Essays from the Harry Potter Generation, and is currently working on volume two.

Application Procedures & Deadline
· Select the How to Apply link to start your online application.
· All applications received by your home institutions priority deadline will be sent to the faculty immediately. Applications will be taken after that deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2017.

Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2017

For more information on course content, contact Kate Glassman
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.


How To Apply



Rules and Procedures 2017 (PDF)

Rules and Procedures

Each UMAIE member school has their own application process in place. The UMAIE application process is described in the attached PDF file, and the required documents are available in the How to Apply section.

Applications are accepted until October 1, 2016.
No application will be considered without ALL the required signed documents, copies and a deposit check. If you have any questions please contact your campus UMAIE Board Member.

Travel Packet

ePacket (Link)

Click the image at left to access the course Travel Packet. The ePacket contains important information about traveling abroad, including your itinerary, frequently asked questions, participant letter and culturegram.

Preliminary Itinerary will be posted by October 16.
Final Itinerary will be posted by December 7.


The Orientation process includes 3 components:
– an online self-study and quiz on the UMAIE student handbook.
– an online orientation webinar conducted by your faculty director(s)
– an on-site orientation upon arrival.

You are REQUIRED to participate in and complete all 3 steps within the deadlines specified below. Failure to do so may result in your removal from the course.

Student Handbook and Online Quiz

2018 Student Manual (PDF)

We have put together this handbook to provide you with helpful information for planning and spending your time abroad. The handbook is also your primary study guide to pass your online quiz. There are excellent tips in this handbook, and it is organized in a way we hope will be user-friendly and straightforward.

Please carefully read the UMAIE student handbook and complete the quiz on the UMAIE student handbook by October 20, 2017.


quiz_thumbYou can access the online quiz through your online application by logging in to your school’s study abroad website. Complete the 2018 UMAIE Participant Quiz under Assessments on your online application portal.

For students at St. Ambrose University, see your study abroad adviser for a paper copy of the quiz.

 Orientation Webinar

The online orientation webinar for this course is on:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 – 4:00pm-5:30pm

Your participation is required. Please review the sign-in instructions below and make yourself available to participate on this date.

Click the webinar icon below to access the launch and sign-in screen for Zoom.

Instructions (PDF)

Instructions (PDF)

Webinar Link (Zoom)


(Alternate Access to Webinar)

Topic: UMAIE: A Wizard of Their Age – Glassman/McDougal
Time: Oct 25, 2017 4:00 PM Central Standard Time


Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699006833,,840443998# or +14086380968,,840443998#

Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 408 638 0968 or +1 646 876 9923 or +1 877 369 0926 (Toll Free) or +1 877 853 5247 (Toll Free)

Meeting ID: 840 443 998


Participants are required to bring their Student ID card with them on the course to qualify for reduced student entrances at many sites. Without your ID, you could be responsible to pay any difference in entrance fees.