Worlds of Fantasy Course

In the Fall of 2008 I will be teaching INGL 3300, a Special Topics course that will focus on Victorian and Modern High Fantasy. Here’s the course description as it appears in the proposal:

This course is designed to provide its students with a survey of the genre of fantasy, focusing on Victorian and Modern high fantasy, both of which are characterized by creating alternate worlds, typically inspired by myths, legends, and medieval romances. The fantasy genre as we know it begins in the late Victorian period by writers such as William Morris and George MacDonald, who created alternate worlds inspired by Norse mythology and sagas. Other authors who developed the genre further were Lord Dunsany and E. R. Eddison, both inspired by Arthurian romances and British fairy tales. These four authors who are cited as direct inspiration for famous 20th century novelists, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, whose fantasy series The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia (respectively) had an enormous impact on the popularity and development of the genre. In America, writers such as H. R. Haggard, James Branch Cabell, Samuel R. Delany, Ursula K. Le Guin, Patricia McKillip reinvent and expand the genre, informed by Celtic, Native American, and other mythologies, as well as by African American and gay and lesbian cultures. By the end of this course, the students should be able to understand some of the historical and mythological origins of the genres fantasy written in English, in order to become critical viewers and readers of contemporary fantasy fiction and films.

This course will be offered M, W, F from 9:30-10:20 am. If you’re interested in signing up for this course and can’t get in, don’t panic: get on a waiting list and follow up on it during the “perido de ajustes y cambios a la matricula” and the first week of class. This is a course with an ambitious (though pleasant) reading load, so I recommend it for those who like to read and like the genre of fantasy, in particular. I will make this abundantly clear on the first day of class, so you should expect some spaces opening up during the first week of class. This is a course designed for real enthusiasts!

Feel free to comment on this posting with any questions you might have or contact me in other ways seen here. For more information and for you to advertise the course to those interested, I’ve attached the course proposal and flyer.

Hope to see you next semester!

By the way, this course will be offered only once in the Fall of 2008 and never again in your college years. I will propose this as a permanent course, but the process takes approximately 5-6 years before it is approved. Don’t let this opportunity pass!

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