Module UXS-2900:
Fantasy Literature:Legend&Land

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 3

Organiser: Dr Eben Muse

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to develop the student’s understanding of the cultural roots of myth, and legend on literature and narrative from the medieval to the contemporary period. Students will explore fantasy themes and concepts in literature and develop their skills in analysis, research, critical appraisal and writing. Students will also develop their knowledge of the corpus of literature and film that explores fantasy literature or is derived from myth and legend.

Course content

Fantasy literature has its source in folktales, myths and legends, and the British Isles have provided some of the most enduring and profound of these sources. Many of the oldest Welsh traditions were transformed for entertainment, popularity, and often later for political agendas. The summer school will introduce students to key texts from the early medieval to the modern periods, considering the ways they have been shaped in relation to the earliest forms in Welsh culture. The programme will also include reflections on modern trends, such as developments in the fantasy tradition in line with current attitudes to gender, politics, race, and sexuality. Students will be guided through early and modern examples of fantasy literature, and will consider their portrayal through other media, including film and television. This will develop and refine their understanding of the fantasy literature, and its pervasive nature in society. This course will also consider the influence of location and time, and as such will include a schedule of field trips to key historical sites in Wales and England.

Assessment Criteria

good

B- to B+ Submitted work is competent throughout and distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates: - Very good structure and logically developed arguments. - Draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student. - Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning. - Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

threshold

D- to D+ Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows: - Generally accurate but with omissions and errors. - Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning. - Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions. - Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.

C- to C+

C- to C+ Submitted work is competent throughout and occasionally distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates: - Good structure and logically developed arguments. - At least in parts draws on material that has been sourced and assessed because of independent study, or in a way unique to the student. - Assertions are, in the main, backed by evidence and sound reasoning. - Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

excellent

A- to A*: Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways: - Has originality of exposition with the student's own thinking being readily apparent. - Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study. - Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the Fantasy literature genre and its sources, including its references to Wales and Welsh culture and history.

  2. Construct reasoned arguments why fantasy continues to be important to the contemporary reader and why these stories are retold and re imagined.

  3. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the myths and legends studied as an expression of the literature of the fantastic and its influence on that literature.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Individual Essay 75
Oral Presentation 15
Diary 10

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

Lectures: delivered 9 times for a half day (4 hours each).

36
Private study 80
Fieldwork

Field trips: 5 full-day field trips (8 hours each) and 4 half-day field trips (4 hours each).

56
Workshop

Workshops: 5 half-day workshops/discussion groups (4 hours each).

20
 

Film screenings, followed by group discussion: 4 screenings (2 hours each).

8

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Knowledge of a wide range of canonical English texts, providing a confident understanding of literary traditions as well as the confidence to experiment and challenge conventions when writing creatively. (English Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • An awareness of writing and publishing contexts, opportunities and audiences in the wider world (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Artistic engagement and ability to articulate complex ideas in oral and written forms. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to connect creative and critical ideas between and among forms, techniques and types of creative and critical praxis. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Awareness of how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning (English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • The ability to synthesize information from various sources, choosing and applying appropriate concepts and methods (English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to engage in processes of drafting and redrafting texts to achieve clarity of expression and an appropriate style. (English Benchmark Statement 3.3; NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Information technology (IT) skills broadly understood and the ability to access, work with and evaluate electronic resources (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).

Resources

Resource implications for students

Copies of the key texts are available from the University library. However, students are encouraged to purchase their own copies which are available online at low cost (£1.00 - £3.00 per copy).

Reading list

Books

  • Alexander, Lloyd. The Book of Three series
  • Cooper, Susan. The Dark is Rising series
  • Lewis, C.S. Prince Caspian
  • Stewart, Mary. The Crystal Cave
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. The Return of the King
  • Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Garner, Alan The Owl Service

Essays:

  • Cooper, Susan. “Fantasy in the Real World.”
  • Le Guin, Ursula. “Why are Americans Afraid of Dragons?”
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. “On Fairy Stories” and Lewis essays
  • Other articles as assigned