10 x 1-hour lectures per semester
9 x 1-hour workshops per semester
1 9 units of first-year topics
2 Admission into BLITTCWG-Bachelor of Letters (Creative Writing) (Graduate Entry)
Must Satisfy: ((1) or (2))
Assignment(s), Practical work, Seminar
Topic description
This topic explores the origins of modern fantasy by examining the legendary narratives upon which modern writers draw, focusing on legends from across Europe which have proved popular in the English tradition. In many cases, such modern adaptations are the most recent in a long line of retellings so, in studying them, we will consider why these myths have appealed to different cultures in different historical contexts and challenge notions about the relationship between originality and creativity.

Each week will focus on a male and a female character (usually warriors), their deeds and the values they embody as well as the role of gender in the text.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • require students to read and critically interpret a range of texts
  • provide opportunities for students to evaluate the cultural, social and historical contexts from which literatures emerge
  • develop students critical reading/thinking skills
  • develop students critical writing/analysing skills
  • develop students’ abilities to undertake self-directed, independent learning
Expected learning outcomes
It is expected that on completion of this topic students will be able to demonstrate:

  • an extensive knowledge of the medieval world and how it informs the way we imagine the present, both verbally and in writing
  • familiarity with the way in which the same narrative, reimagined over time, expresses the cultural values of each society which retells it
  • the ability to think critically about the relationship between the past and the present
  • the ability to understand and analyse texts in their cultural and historical context
  • the ability to construct a logical, critical argument