We are about to begin our second StoryWonk Seminar series, so pack up the contents of the cupboard under the stairs — this Spring, we’re headed to Hogwarts!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is many things — part fantasy, part myth, part coming-of-age tale, part British boarding-school adventure. Over the course of her debut novel, JK Rowling enchanted readers of all ages, created a world of enduring depth and nuance, and inadvertently spawned a new publishing phenomenon, the young-adult juggernaut.

Over the course of nine scheduled sessions, we’re going to study the characters, settings, themes and ideas that populate the pages of this groundbreaking novel. We’re going to look at the importance of names and naming, of death and sacrifice, of loyalty and virtue, and many other things besides, as well as seeking to understand the traditions which helped form Harry and his world.

This is our schedule:

  • March 31st, 9PM Eastern: The Boy Who Lived (Chapters 1, 2 & 3)
  • April 7th, 9PM Eastern: Another World (Chapters 4 & 5)
  • April 14th, 9PM Eastern: Back And There Again (Chapters 6 & 7)
  • April 21st, 9PM Eastern: Friends and Enemies (Chapters 8 & 9)
  • April 28th, 9PM Eastern: Facing Adversity (Chapters 10 & 11)
  • May 5th, 9PM Eastern: Putting The Pieces Together (Chapters 12, 13 & 14)
  • May 12th, 9PM Eastern: Thresholds (Chapters 15 & 16)
  • May 19th, 9PM Eastern: He Who Must Not Be Named (Chapter 17)
  • May 24th, 2PM Eastern: Sunday Session discussing the movie as a text and as an adaptation, plus general Q&A

Every session will be broadcast live on our YouTube channel. You’ll be able to interact and ask questions in the chat channel alongside the video, or via Twitter using the hashtag #swdmp (pronounced “swah-domp”), and then take part in the conversation after the fact on the StoryWonk forum. Each seminar session will also be released as a podcast, available either here on StoryWonk.com, on Stitcher, or via iTunes.

The seminars are aimed at adults, but will be suitable for all ages. Everyone is welcome, and the seminar is, thanks to the generous support of our patrons, entirely free. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, or email alastair@storywonk.com.