Kolkata law university begins Harry Potter course to learn from the legal affairs in the wizarding world

first_imgIn an exciting reveal for Potterheads, a law university in Kolkata is offering a Harry Potter course which will teach the legal aspects of the wizarding world created by JK Rowling taking note of the real life lessons it provides.All about the new Harry Potter law course in Kolkata:The course is titled ‘An interface between Fantasy Fiction Literature and Law: Special focus on Rowling’s Potterverse’It will be offered as an elective to 4th and 5th year students of the BA LLB (Hons) programme at the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) in KolkataThe course aims to cover legal traditions and institutions, crimes and punishments, economy, politics, contracts in the PotterverseIn this course, students will learn to apply legal principles in a completely new scenario, and understand how things will work through insights into a wizarding world constantly under government surveillanceThe course is an attempt to serve as a breather from the orthodox law school curriculum and is designed for the winter semester by Assistant Professor Shouvik Kumar GuhaClasses for the course are due to start this DecemberRead: Calcutta University to introduce Sholay, Harry Potter, Twilight, Bob Dylan and more to revamp English postgraduate syllabus The Ministry of Magic courtroom with a trial in progress.Harry Potter law course content at NUJSAs per the official website of the law university, here is what the course will focus on:1. Legal Traditions and Institutions in Potterverse (including role of law and rule of law in a magical society, moral choice and liberty in Potterverse and the role of bureaucracy in the Ministry of Magic).advertisement2.Crimes and Punishments in Potterverse (including Unforgivable Curses, Wizengamot Trials, Innocence of Sirius Black and Persecution of Tom Riddle).3. Morality, Social Values, Identity and Class Rights in Potterverse (including (human?) dignity and enslavement of House Elves, marginalization of Werewolves, Giants, Centaurs and Merpeople, Mudbloods and Squibs, militant literacy and misuse of texts).4. The Potterverse Economy (including Gringotts, magic of money and economic growth and entrepreneurship).5. Politics in Potterverse (including bases of authority, terror and counterterror, resistance, intelligence and secret societies).6. Contracts and Agency in Potterverse (including Unbreakable Vows, Agents of Good or Servants of Evil, express will and loyalty, Snape and the Order of Phoenix, Dumbledore’s Man through and through)7. Family in Potterverse (including blood relationship, familial ties, testamentary law)8. Miscellaneous (including Quidditch and sports law, religion and destiny, Rowling’s legal battles and reflections, philosophical significance of Potterverse characters, technological anarchism & the hi-tech, low-tech wizarding world, archetypes and stereotypes, from ‘Mars is Bright Tonight’ to Horcruxes in Faerie Land and ‘Just behind the Veil’: Influences of Dante, Edmund Spenser and George MacDonald on Potterverse) Scene from Gringotts bank staffed by goblins in the Potterverse.How can a Harry Potter course teach serious law students?Though the new Harry Potter course at NUJS is mainly launched as an experiment and makes us wonder how it can help serious law students learn, it does have some interesting learning aspects to it.According to a statement by NUJS, the Harry Potter series vividly exposes the limitations of laws and institutions:In Potterverse for example, the Ministry of Magic uses its representatives to torture children for daring to tell the truthThe Ministry also imprisons and even executes its citizens without the benefit of due process of lawThe infamous wizarding world prison Azkaban is designed to drive inmates to despair and suicidal tendencies without any hope of reformationIn numerous instances, the wealthy people in the Harry Potter world control and influence government policyFreedom of the press in Potterverse is curtailed, and the major newspaper ‘The Daily Prophet’ is used to spread propagandaThe series thus provides a unique platform for students to reflect and compare the legal situations with their own government. Images of the Potterverse newspaper — Daily Prophet(source: AliExpress)Motive: Making students aware while staying out of political controversiesGiven the many societal, legal and political changes, including the slew of landmark Supreme Court judgements, law students need to learn to adapt and respond to events unfolding around them, said Assistant Professor Shouvik Kumar Guha who designed the course.”I could have designed the course based on our real political situation but it is not necessary that all my students will share my political leanings,” Guha told PTI in a phone interview.Instead, the professor decided to turn to a fictional universe, which would not create political controversies but help students learn to apply their legal knowledge to a completely alien set of scenarios.The other reason behind creating this course was tackling the monotonous nature of studying law.advertisement”In law schools, people get a very specific set of subjects. The curriculum revolves around the hard letter of the law, case laws etc. Given the fact that this course lasts about five years, students also get bored,” the professor said.”This course is meant to be more of an experiment. It will take both me and the students out of our comfort zones,” Guha added.Guha says his assignments to the students would be very creative in nature, and hopes that some of the works can eventually be published.”I was introduced to Potterverse in my tenth standard. Since then I have read the books multiple times. I am familiar with each and every line of all the seven books. So it will come to me naturally,” said Guha, quipping that he probably knows Harry Potter literature better than Company Law.Read: Why Harry Potter is the fairy tale we need now instead of Cinderella or Snow White The seven Harry Potter books on which the NUJS law course will be based. (source: booksandbakes1.wordpress.com)Earlier instances of Harry Potter courses launched in IndiaThis is 2018 and with thousands of Potterheads around the world now turned adults, it is not a surprise that this is not the first time in India that a professor has turned to the magical world of Harry Potter to pique student interest.Rashmi Raman, a former student of NUJS, first started a Potterverse-centric elective law course at the Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat in 2012.The course was one of the most popular among students in the law school, Raman told PTI.”I have not offered it for the last two semesters because it always exceeds the class limit, and I end up having to teach a class of 40-45, when I could teach another elective and get away with 15-20 students,” she said.Raman said she plans to bring back the course again in the spring semester.Read: From rags to riches to charity, here’s celebrating JK Rowling: World’s first billionaire author of our beloved Harry Potter series Scene from the Hogwarts Great Hall in the Harry Potter series.Harry Potter courses existing abroadRowling’s series of seven books which were made into eight films about the boy wizard Harry Potter and his friends Ron and Hermoine has already found its way into classrooms abroad.The Kansas State University in the US, for instance, offers a class called Harry Potter’s Library’, where students have the opportunity to examine political themes that reoccur in the seriesFrostburg University, also in the US, offers Science of Harry Potter’ which teaches students about the scientific concepts behind the magical events in the series.For example — students explore the physics that makes Quidditch possible and the possible genetics associated with magical creaturesThere are no flying lessons, potions or Defense-Against-the-Dark-Arts classes, but Harry Potter fans at Durham University have the option of a course on the adventures of the boy wizard, which they started in 2010 as part of their Education Studies BA degreeadvertisement8 universities that hold enchanting Harry Potter classes1. Durham University, ‘Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion’2. Yale University, ‘Christian Theology and Harry Potter’3. University of Waterloo, ‘Popular Potter’4. Georgetown University, ‘Knights of Old & Harry Potter’5. Ohio State University, ‘Harry Potter: Mystery and English Comedy’6. Oregon State University, ‘Finding Your Patronus’7. Nipissing University, ‘Harry Potter’8. Frostburg University, ‘Science of Harry Potter'(With inputs from PTI)last_img

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