- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - It’s not always easy to fill literature classes at universities, but two magic words sent students clamoring to sign up for Troy University professor Noel Kaylor’s newest class.

Harry Potter.

Kaylor will teach a course in spring 2017 on the popular Harry Potter young adult fantasy novels written by English author J.K. Rowling. Kaylor said the class quickly filled up when it was announced. When an article about the class was posted to the university’s Facebook account it received more than 27,000 views within a few hours.

“The response has been tremendous, it’s great,” Kaylor said.

The course will explore the literary quality of Rowling’s work, the philosophical issues dealt with in the books, educational issues involved in teaching the books and magic.

Kaylor said an exploration of Rowling’s work would prove instructional for students seeking a look at the nuts and bolts of literary success.

“J.K. Rowling is a skilled writer,” Kaylor said. “She knows what she’s doing and she knows her audience.”

Kaylor said the course would also be helpful to aspiring teachers, as it would prepare them to teach the books, which remain very popular among young readers. Kaylor said being prepared to teach quality popular books would help educators better reach their students and interest them in literature.

Kaylor said the books’ focus on magic is unusually appealing to millennials, a generation Kaylor says is largely pragmatic.

“In our day and age, there’s a real hunger for magic, as the 21st century has been pretty depressing so far,” he said.

The course will cover all seven books in the series by breaking students up into seven groups and assigning each group a book to study and present to the class. Kaylor said he doubts familiarity with the subject matter will be much of a problem for his students.

“I expect most students will have already read the books three or four times before they show up for the class,” he said.

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Information from: The Dothan Eagle, https://www.dothaneagle.com

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