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ENGL 119 P - Literature of Fantasy

Campus: Urbana-Champaign


Introduction to the rich traditions of fantasy writing in world literature. While the commercial category of fantasy post-Tolkien will often be the focal point, individual instructors may choose to focus on alternate definitions of the genre: literatures of the fantastic, the uncanny, and the weird; fantasy before the Enlightenment and the advent of realism; fantasy for young adult or child readers; and so on. Course Information: Same as CWL 119.

Special Instructions:

"Fantasy" is both a section in contemporary bookstores and a longer literary tradition with many roots and branches. This course will focus on the twentieth-century genre that extends from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (1937) through Ursula LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea (1968). But we'll also spend some time exploring the edges of this genre, reading stories like N. K. Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010) that blur boundaries between fantasy and science fiction, as well as some, like Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation (2014), that border on uncanny horror. All literary genres have cliches, but writers of fantasy have been especially playful and self-conscious in exploring theirs - which makes a course on fantasy a good opportunity to reflect on the pleasures of genre itself.

Option 1

Number of Required Visit(s): 0

Course Level: Undergraduate

Credit: 3

Term(s): Fall


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