We have justly lampooned hackademic scholarshit about "the open road" and the alleged intersection of law and hip-hop. Like so much other foolishness that starts in the US, the phenomenon of pretentious nonsense from legal hackademia has spread to the other side of the world: the National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata is offering a course on law and Harry Potter.
Those who enroll in this ridiculous course are "expected [to] have already read all the books at least twice, if not more". Old Guy hasn't read one page of any Harry Potter book and doesn't intend to, but he wonders about this requirement. Is Harry Potter really so profound and complex that it—unlike all other texts assigned in law school—must be read at least twice?
The course is "intended to encourage students to think critically about Indian social problems" such as discrimination, torture, slavery, and religious strife. Infantile shiterature, we are expected to believe, provides a neutral framework for exploring these problems. I doubt very much whether any Critical Thinking™ will occur in an environment that can't pull it off without invoking the genre of puerile fantasy.
The forty-student course quickly filled up. Presumably it is viewed as an easy way to get a good grade without having to read anything: just show up for class, spout some platitudes about Indian social problems, write (probably with a crayon) a couple of pages on sophisticated philosophical conclusions derived from the exalted books, and collect an A. The popularity of such foolishness, however, is no mark of merit. Nor will it be of much help on the bar exam or in legal practice.