Office of Study Abroad and Outreach

World of Harry Potter

The World of Harry Potter: Politics, Social Justice and the United Kingdom

Why study Harry Potter?  Why enter a world of wizardry and magic?  Investigate Harry Potter in the context of its cultural and historical background, examining the ways in which it parallels contemporary political, social and cultural issues.  

Location(s)  Edinburgh, Scotland and York and London, England
Term   Spring 2020

Choice of:

  • ENG 379 (3 sh)
  • ENG 679 (1-3 sh)
  • POLS 379 (3 sh)
  • POLS 679 (3 sh)
Class Sessions Mondays, March 16-April 27, 6-7:30 pm, location TBA
Travel Dates May 12-25, 2020
Housing   Hotels
Passport Required
GPA 2.5
Hours completed 12
Student Judicial Good status
Grad credit Yes 
Non-WIU   Yes 
Pre-requisite None  
Student Year Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate
Entry Requirements

Passport required - Must be valid until at least November 30, 2020.

Visa required if not a US citizen. It is your responsibility to check the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration (UKVI) website for more information.  Visa cost not included in program cost.  

Health Insurance

You must have international health insurance for the time you are on your program.  Only two options are approved to meet this requirement:

Health Precautions

Walking/mobility/travel - Expect to walk 5-8 miles per day.  It is not consecutive but scheduled throughout the day, sometimes over uneven, hilly terrain and up/down flights of stairs.  You will also be responsible for moving your own luggage.

Environmental - Highs in the mid 50s in Edinburgh and in the mid 60s in London.  Jackets/sweaters recommended.  Excursions and some portions of the Course will be conducted outside, rain or shine.  Sun protection is strongly recommended.

Dietary - Some meals are included in the program cost. Contact Kim McDaniel  if you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions. 

Vaccinations - No vaccinations are required for entry into the United Kingdom.  Up to date vaccination recommendations are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website .

Accessibility and accommodation are very different than that found in the United States.  Please contact the Disability Resource Center for questions on the availability of accommodations for your specific situation.

PLEASE NOTE   It is your responsibility to request accommodation from the DRC; faculty and staff are not legally permitted to inquire about such needs.  Requests should be made as early as possible so there's sufficient time to arrange accommodations in your location.

Costs & Dates

Estimated Cost* $3,500-$3,8000
Included in the program Round trip airfare from Chicago, in-country transportation, lodging (double/triple occupancy), entry fees to scheduled sites, some meals
Application Deadline November 10, 2019
Application fee
$75 due December 5, 2019
Non-refundable deposit $1,000 due December 6, 2019 
Second payment $1,000 due January 31, 2020
Final payment* $1,500-$1,800 due February 28, 2020

* Costs subject to change based on student enrollment

WIU reserves the right to adjust the cost or arrangements of this program due to insufficient enrollment or circumstances beyond the University's control.  For details about this or individual withdrawals, see Cancellations and Withdrawals.

Important Dates

Passport copy deadline: January 31, 2020  Failure to meet this deadline will result in removal from the group flight and increased costs.

Pre-departure meeting: TBA during Spring 2020


Credit offered

ENG 379 - Counts towards the Social Justice category of the Literature and Language option for ENG majors

ENG 679 - Counts towards completion of a Master of Arts in English

POLS 379 - Counts as an upper-division elective or the political theory requirement for POLS majors/minors

POLS 679 - Counts towards completion of a MA in Political Science 

Please check with your academic advisor for more information on how this Course fits your specific academic needs.

  • Examine the influence of British history, politics and literature on Harry Potter 
  • Make connections between the series and present day political and social justice struggles
  • Evaluate the ways in which reading the series help us better understand, critique, and navigate the world around us

Class sessions

Active class participation, including contribution to discussions and attendance, is expected in all phases of the Course.  Students are responsible for completing pre-departure assignments including readings and discussion participation, attendance and active participation during on-site visits, guest lectures and activities, and post-return assignments.  Questions about course content should be directed to Dr. Rebekah Buchanan or Dr. Erin Taylor .  






Contact Us

Kim McDaniel
For Faculty Led

Horrabin Room 8


Dr. Rebekah Buchanan
Faculty leader

Simpkins Room 226


Dr. Erin Taylor
Faculty leader

Morgan Room 424


Information Sessions

September 11, 5 pm

September 13, 12 pm (noon)

September 17, 6 pm

All meetings in Malpass Library, 3rd floor computer classroom