Spring 2018 Undergraduate English Courses: Special Topics

358:255 Brave New Worlds: Modern Fantasy Fiction, 1930-Present

01  MTH3  CAC  18535  JACKSON  SC-101

Brave New Worlds: Modern Fantasy Fiction, 1930-Present

We will study some of the seminal works and writers of twentieth-century fantasy, from J. R. R. Tolkien, Susan Cooper, and Ursula K. Le Guin, to Madeleine L’Engle, George R. R. Martin, J. K. Rowling, and Neil Gaiman.  What have been the genre’s key influences, and how has it developed?  How have fantasy works reflected broader historical and cultural trends?  Which critical approaches can help us to better understand the effects and implications of key works?  And how can we understand the wildly divergent reactions that fantasy has generated, from critical neglect and accusations of “escapism” on the one hand, to intense fan loyalty and identification on the other?