National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Honors in Practice: A Publication of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Volume 11 (2015)


Copyright © 2015 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


In a 2011 essay in JNCHC, Annmarie Guzy expressed concern that her honors composition course, which includes reading and writing about J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, “might be considered unorthodox material” (Guzy 89). Humanities faculty who teach Harry Potter, she speculated, might scandalize “other faculty, administrators, students, and the general public” because the series constitutes “popular work” rather than highbrow or literary writing. She had, however, no need for concern. Not only was Guzy’s Potter-themed composition course continued, but scholars in the humanities and elsewhere continue to mine the riches of the Harry Potter series. Its academic status is no longer in doubt. What is more, the series’ widely recognized scope, character, and complexity make it an ideal vehicle for teaching students, both intellectually and affectively, in an honors program.