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Module LXE-2025:
Reading Fantastic Literatures

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Armelle Blin-Rolland

Overall aims and purpose

This module introduces students to literatures of the fantastic, broadly conceived – such as the supernatural, science fiction, magic realism, horror, etc. – and from a range of literary traditions, such as the French-, Spanish-, and German-language contexts (English translations will be provided of all primary sources). This module focuses on texts from the 20th and 21st centuries, encompassing different literary genres such as novels, short stories, novellas and graphic novels. Students will gain an understanding of the multi-layered significance of the fantastic and its relationship to different political, social and cultural issues. Through a transnational and interdisciplinary approach, this module will enhance students’ knowledge of the development of fantastic literatures from a global perspective, and encourage students to reflect on the multiplicity of fantastic genres in different linguistic, historical, cultural and geographical contexts.

Course content

The module will begin with an introduction to theoretical approaches to fantastic literatures, and will then move on to exploring different linguistic and literary traditions, such as Francophone (such as science fiction in Franco-Belgian bande dessinée), Hispanophone (such as Latin American magic realism), and Germanophone (such as Franz Kafka and Alfred Kubin).

Assessment Criteria


A- - A*: Students attaining the highest grades in this course will have thoroughly immersed themselves in primary and secondary reading, with which they will engage at a mature and incisive level. They will produce insightful, nuanced analysis. They will have demonstrated a very high level of engagement with the conceptual as well as factual aspects of the material studied.


D- - D+: In order to merit the award of credit, student should demonstrate a basic comprehension of the material presented, and demonstrate that they can clearly differentiate between the various portions of that material.


C- - B+: Students attaining the higher grades in this course will have shown not only comprehension of the concepts and case studies studied in their own right, but will also demonstrate a clear ability to contextualise them, grasping the historical context of each case study. They will show an ability to explore and re-evaluate critical judgements in the light of their own reading.

Learning outcomes

  1. To be able to produce structured and coherent arguments in written assignments.

  2. To develop a critical understanding of the different genres of fantastic literatures

  3. To compare and contrast different expressions of the fantastic in a variety of linguistic and literary traditions

  4. To analyse fantastic literary texts

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Essay 2

One 2,000 word essay on one of a selection of topics relating to the case studies seen in the module.

ESSAY Essay 1

One 2,000 word essay on one of a selection of topics relating to the case studies seen in the module.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


One 1-hour lecture per week for 11 weeks.


One 1-hour seminar per week for 11 weeks.

Private study

During private study students will engage with the set texts to read (primary case studies, and theoretical texts), prepare materials in advance of lectures and seminars.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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.
  • 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

  • The ability to organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument in written and/or oral assignments and class discussions. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • Critical skills in the close reading, description, reasoning and analysis of primary and secondary sources in the target language and/or English or Welsh (incl. filmic, literary and other sources). (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.14, 5.15)
  • Competence in the planning and execution of essays, presentations and other written and project work; bibliographic skills, including the accurate citation of sources and consistent use of conventions and appropriate style in the presentation of scholarly work. (Benchmark statement 5.10, 5.14, 5.15)
  • The ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints and to place these in a wider socio-cultural and/or geo-historical and political and/or socio-linguistic context and to revise and re-evaluate judgements in light of those of the course leader, certain individuals or groups studied and/or fellow students. (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.15 and 5.16)
  • The ability to write and think under pressure and meet deadlines. (Benchmark statement 5.15)
  • The ability to write effective notes and access and manage course materials including electronic resources / information provided on online learning platforms and library resources. (Benchmark statement 5.15, 5.16)
  • The ability and willingness to engage with and appreciate other cultures and to articulate to others (in written and verbal form) the contribution that the culture has made at a regional and global level. (Benchmark statement 5.7)
  • The ability to engage in analytical, evaluative and original thinking. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • Skills in the critical reading and analysis of literary and/or musical and/or filmic texts. (Benchmark statement 5.10)


Courses including this module

Optional in courses: