Undergraduate Course: The Making of Modern Fantasy (ENLI10351)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||How does a genre come into being? In this course we will trace the making of the modern fantasy genre in Britain by reading the works - both creative and theoretical - of its nineteenth and twentieth-century founders.
Fantasy in its widest definition dates back to the beginnings of human literature, and in its narrowest is a publishing category just several decades old. In this course we will adopt the medium-range view and examine texts that have been retrospectively canonised as founding works of the genre, but that were written in late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century Britain long before fantasy became a global best-selling phenomenon. We will consider fantasy's relation to cognate forms and genres (fairy or folk tale, romance, epic, saga, science fiction) and the authors' extensive engagement with Classical and Norse mythology, and medieval and early modern literature. We will discuss the religious and philosophical questions that often constitute fantasy's raison d'être, as well as different aspects of the secondary world-building process, hallmarks of style such as linguistic archaism, and common themes and structures, including the obsession with death and time, the role of boundaries and other-worlds, and the use of the quest or journey motif.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||A MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as civilisation or other interdisciplinary classes, Freshman Year Seminars or composition/creative writing classes/workshops are not considered for admission to this course. Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having 4 literature classes at grade A.
** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate competence in core skills in the study of English Literature: independent reading, essay planning and writing and group work.
- Critically analyse the key themes and formal parameters of the founding works of fantasy.
- Show knowledge of the seminal literary and intellectual contexts from which the modern fantasy genre emerged.
- Reflect critically on the philosophical issues at the heart of early fantasy writing.
- Engage with contemporary fantasy criticism and the theoretical pronouncements of early fantasy authors.
|William Morris, The Story of the Glittering Plain (1891) |
George MacDonald, Lilith (1895)
E. R. Eddison, The Worm Ouroboros (1922)
Lord Dunsany, The King of Elfland's Daughter (1924)
Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist (1926)
C. S. Lewis, Perelandra (1943)
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (1954-55)
|Course organiser||Dr Anna Vaninskaya
Tel: (0131 6)50 4284
|Course secretary||Ms Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619