SFA students study Politics of Harry Potter during Maymester

SFA students study Politics of Harry Potter during Maymester

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - One step into Stephen F. Austin State University's Politics of Harry Potter, you'll find none other than Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.

"The Slytherin people don't like the Gryffindor folks," said Associate Professor Dr. Lee Payne. "Nobody wanted to be in Hufflepuff."

Payne, along with his summer students, analyzes parallels of American civil liberties through the magical series of Harry Potter.

"I get political science majors, who maybe don't know a lot about Harry Potter, and then I get the Harry Potter fanatics who don't know about political science, and they help each other out," Payne said.

The class finds situations as relatable as the protection of our Second Amendment rights.

"Like, when they won't teach them the spells, you could still use it as a weapon," Payne said. "You could poke somebody's eye out with it. If you can grab a gun without bullets, you could take it and club somebody with it, but it's so much more efficient with bullets and spells."

Some of Payne's students grew up following this tale.

"Harry Potter was the first book series I ever read as a kid, so it's taking something that is basically a part of me and just bringing a whole different side to a kids story," said student Matt Wurst.

However, even those that are new to the world of magic, said their eyes have been opened to world of politics that surrounds them.

"It's fun," said student Nijah Lastrapes. "It's really competitive between the houses, and I told him that I am not a leisure reader. I do not like to read for fun, and this class has made me notice that I kind of do."

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