Realms of Magic
Realms of Magic: Medieval Romance and its Afterlives 2023-24
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 2
On this module you will explore the history of fantasy, from its early origins in epic and romance, to medieval and modern reinventions of the genre. Fantasy texts (including English, French, German, Latin and Icelandic) will be studied through such lenses as gender, postcolonialism, race and ideology, and cultural memory. Topics such as spiritual instruction, love, political governance, war, sexual fulfilment and magic will be investigated, while the versatility of the genre and its enduring appeal will be judged with reference to modern transformations of the genre, as well as film adaptations.
This module covers a selective history of fantasy, with an emphasis on its early origins drawing on both epic and romance, and ranging from medieval to modern reinventions of the genre. Critical and theoretical modern theory such as gender, postcolonial, race and ideology, cultural memory and other approaches will be employed to explore a flexible range of texts that will include English, French, German, Latin or Icelandic medieval romances and epic (studied in translation as appropriate), early modern adaptations and inventions of fantasy, followed by the birth of modern fantasy in the late nineteenth century and its rebirth in the twentieth and twenty-first. Topics such as spiritual instruction, love, political governance, war, sexual fulfilment and magic will be investigated, while the versatility of the genre and its enduring appeal will be judged with reference to modern transformations of the genre, as well as film adaptations.
- A solid sense of the overall development of the genre of fantasy from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
- Critical ability to evaluate the literary quality of these works.
- Detailed knowledge of a number of major works relating to the genre.
- Identify and apply appropriate critical theories to fantasy and medieval texts with appropriate academic referencing and support.
Presentation of the outline of the essay and critical questions