Hogwarts for Muggles: Professor Binns’ History of Magic



In the Harry Potter world, this was a very important class, and in the muggle world, history is equally important. We will study famous magicians as well as magical events in the Wizard world, and use our critical thinking skills to make inferences and form hypotheses.



Meets for 30 minutes once per week for 8 weeks. 

When you hear the words, ‘A History of Magic’, what is immediately conjured up in your mind? Do you think of dusty tomes, full of pictures of witches on broomsticks wearing pointy hats? Do you think of magicians pulling rabbits out of hats, or of potions being brewed up in bubbling cauldrons? Did you know, for instance, that the art of alchemy — central to the story of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone — has been practiced worldwide and dates back at least to the time of the ancient Egyptians?

Alchemy is the science of turning what are known as ‘base metals’ into ‘noble’ ones, in particular gold, and of creating an elixir that leads to immortal life. In The Philosopher’s Stone, Nicolas Flamel was the only known maker of the Stone in question and, aged 665, was living quietly with his wife in Devon.

In this course, we will spend the first four weeks studying the magical events in the Harry Potter series. Since a copy of A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot is unlikely to fall into our hands, we’re going to use some information I’ve prepared to learn about some of these events in the wizarding world. During each of these classes, we will study the events listed, and discuss the characters, characteristics, and more for each event, and predict what could have happened had things turned out differently.

Our last four classes will center around present-day magic. We will discuss similarities and differences between Harry Potter magic and Present Day magic, and more. During this course, I’ll use a combination of printables, videos, slideshows, and more to aid in discussion and information presentation. I’ll also screenshare my copy of Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic , which can be found here (you do NOT need to purchase this for this class)

Anticipated Course Outline

Harry Potter Magical History Studies:
Week 1: Gargoyle Strike of 1911, Soap Blizzard of 1378, Werewolf Code of Conduct
Week 2: Emeric the Evil, Elfric the Eager, Medieval Assembly of European Wizards
Week 3: International Warlock Convention of 1289, Witch Hunts, Goblin Rebellions
Week 4: Giant Wars, Fifth year; Discussion of all magical events we’ve studied

Present-Day Magic:
Week 5: Similarities and differences between magic in Harry Potter and what we call magic today
Week 6: Study of Alchemy
Week 7: Discussion and research of famous magicians
Week 8: Comprehensive Review and preparation for O.W.L. exam to be taken during class, time permitting.


Wed Oct 10, 1:30pm – 2pm Eastern
Wed Oct 17, 1:30pm – 2pm Eastern
Wed Oct 24, 1:30pm – 2pm Eastern
Wed Oct 31, 1:30pm – 2pm Eastern
Wed Nov 7, 1:30pm – 2pm Eastern
Wed Nov 14, 1:30pm – 2pm Eastern
Wed Nov 28, 1:30pm – 2pm Eastern
Wed Dec 5, 1:30pm – 2pm Eastern