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The World of Magic in Literature, Philosophy and Film


This year’s readings and film will explore multiple representations of the magical—from magic as performance to magical realism. The discussions will range from questions about the nature of magic to the reasons why authors use magical elements in their storytelling. The discussions promise to be rich, thought-provoking and a great deal of fun. It will be.....magical!

Time & Place

All seminars take place in Key's Farmhouse Building (Room 2) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Participants may register for individual seminars of their choice or sign up for the entire series.

The enrollment fee is $20 per seminar or $120 for the full series.

2019-2020 Seminar Schedule

March 9 - Ancient Magic
The Ring of Gyges by Plato (2 pgs)
Excerpts from Arabian Nights (10 pgs)

April 6 - Negation of Magic
The Magic White Suit by Ray Bradbury (8 pgs)
The Bones of the Earth by Ursula K. LeGuin (11 pgs)

May 11 - Movie
Big Fish directed by Tim Burton. The group will watch the movie together and discuss.

September 23 - Movie
The Prestige directed by Christopher Nolan Location Change! Upper School Science/Library Building Rm. 101

October 21 - Gender Politics
The Miniature Wife by Manuel Gonzales (16 pgs)
Changes by Neil Gaiman (11 pgs)

November 11 - Perspective
Axolotl by Julio Cortázar (6 pgs)
The Secret Miracle by Jorge Luis Borges (4 pgs)

December 16 - Movie
Pan's Labyrinth directed by Guillermo del Toro. The group will watch the movie together and discuss.

January 13 - Magical Realism
The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel García Márquez (26 pgs)

February 3 - Zombies
Bitter Grounds by Neil Gaiman (15 pgs)
Haunting Olivia by Karen Russell (18 pgs)

About the Seminar Series for Adults

The Key School Seminar Series for Adults is modeled after seminar classes taught at Key. The series seeks to engage adults from the surrounding community in spirited intellectual conversations about great novels, poems, films, and more.

Bob McCarthy and Brian Boyd, humanities teachers in Key's Upper School, will lead the discussions.

Join us for enjoyable evening discussions, debating great works with other curious and thoughtful people.