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'Harry Potter' Expert Gets the Magic 'Rowling' this Fall with UCO Downtown Class

A man, John Granger, stands holding the copy of the book “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” while standing in front of a background of city buildings in downtown Oklahoma City.

Aug. 2, 2017

Media Contact: Sarah Neese, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, UCO University Communications, 405-974-2121, sneese@uco.edu

‘Harry Potter’ Expert Gets the Magic ‘Rowling’ this Fall with UCO Downtown Class

More than a decade has passed since the final book in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series was published, yet the “Harry Potter” universe continues to grow, more recently expanding to the University of Central Oklahoma.

This fall, John Granger, the author of six books and an internationally recognized expert on the subject of J. K. Rowling's “Harry Potter” saga, will teach a course on the series, titled the “The Artistry of J. K. Rowling.”

Held at UCO Downtown, the university’s downtown learning facility, in the Carnegie Centre at 131 Dean A. McGee Ave., “The Artistry of J. K. Rowling” is a semester-long study, which requires students to already have read the seven novels in the series.

"There's so much critical literature to get through," Granger explained, "and so much to discuss about what Rowling has in her literary tool box that there isn't time to spend on plot points."

Some of the tools Granger will cover are cratylic names – names that directly reflect a fixed personality trait of the character; the Christian content; “literary alchemy,” a phrase Granger uses frequently to describe the personal transformation a reader can experience while engaging with literature; and the cross-referencing in Rowling's later work with her Potter books.

Granger is a doctoral candidate through Swansea@UCO, a collaborative program between UCO and Swansea University in Wales.

"John is an unusual student, to say the least," said Matt Hollrah, Ph.D., chair of the UCO English Department and one of Granger's doctoral advisers

"He already writes, speaks, blogs, podcasts and teaches online to a global audience of serious readers. We want our Ph.D. students to have time in the classroom, and we're delighted John is going to share his insights about what makes this author's work magical."

Granger blogs at HogwartsProfessor.com and podcasts on “Reading, Writing, Rowling” at MuggleNet.com, the world's largest “Harry Potter” fan site. He vlogs, or blogs through video, and teaches online courses at PotterPundits.com.

"I'm looking forward, though," Granger said, "to live exchanges face-to-face with students again. There's nothing like that kind of give-and-take for the exploration of ideas."           

Granger has an honors degree from the University of Chicago (BA, Classical Languages) and Oklahoma City University (MFA, Creative Writing). He is entering his second year of Ph.D. work, writing a thesis that applies formalist techniques to Rowling's work.

"The Swansea@UCO Ph.D. program is an exciting opportunity to do advanced graduate study," Granger said. "It's a unique program; I'm thrilled to be a part of it."

The deadline to enroll in fall classes, in person, is Aug. 25. For more information on admissions, enrollment or academic advisement at Central, visit www.uco.edu/admissions-aid.

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Editor’s Note: Download art associated with this release at https://media.uco.edu/press/uploads/2017/08/john-granger.jpg.

Cutline: Beginning this fall, John Granger, the author of six books and the internationally recognized expert on the subject of J. K. Rowling's “Harry Potter” saga, will teach a course on the series, titled the “The Artistry of J. K. Rowling” at UCO Downtown, the university’s downtown learning facility, in the Carnegie Centre at 131 Dean A. McGee Ave.