Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Office of Public Affairs
July 2, 2007
DeKalb, Ill. — Harry Potter fans will hit the jackpot this month.
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” will premiere on the silver screen. The seventh Potter novel, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” will hit bookstores everywhere. And Northern Illinois University will kick off its second annual Muggle Academy, an academic summer camp modeled after Hogwarts, the fictional school of witchcraft and wizardry where Harry Potter comes of age.
NIU’s Muggle Academy will run from July 29 to Aug. 3. Participants will have two options: a residential academy for campers who are in grades eight through 12, and a day camp for campers in grades four through seven.
“The camp gives young people an opportunity to meet others who have a passion for Potter,” says Karley Adney, a Ph.D. candidate in the NIU Department of English who again serves as camp director, a.k.a., headmistress.
The Muggle Academy offers a wide variety of options to explore the magical world of Harry Potter. An opening “sorting ceremony” will divide campers into two different houses. They will play a Muggle version of Quidditch, work on group projects in wizardry schools, attend Harry’s birthday party (July 31) and view and critique the movies.
NIU faculty from various departments will deliver seminars on cultural and interdisciplinary aspects of author J.K. Rowling’s work.
“The new book and movie will be incorporated into this year’s camp, and students will certainly learn more about the series,” Adney says. “Academically, we take an interdisciplinary approach, so students also will be honing their reading, writing, math, art, history and science skills as they work together on a group project. Last summer’s participants, for example, were asked to design a new school of wizardry.”
The inaugural camp received rave reviews from campers, including three who are returning.
Adney, who goes by the e-mail moniker of “muggleprof,” teaches writing and literature courses at NIU and often uses the Harry Potter series as a focus for composition courses. She has presented at the international academic Harry Potter Conference and has published on the series as well.
The Muggle Academy is sponsored by the NIU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming. For more information, e-mail Adney at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.niu.edu/clasep/camps/muggle/index.shtml for cost and registration details.