Fantasy 1: 1780-1950 ENGLIT5086

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The course will introduce students to the critical study of fantasy literature and its attendant theories in English from c. 1780 to 1950. As well as charting the early history of modern fantasy, including major children's fantasies of the period where these had a significant influence on the development of adult fantasy literature, the course will introduce students to the range of contemporary critical and theoretical approaches to fantasy and the fantastic.


10 x two-hour weekly seminars as scheduled on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





One short piece of critical writing of 1500 words (30%)

One final essay of 3000 words (60%)

One ten-minute oral presentation (10%)

Course Aims

The course aims to:

■ develop students' knowledge of the history of fantasy literature in English and its associated theories from c. 1780 to 1950;

■ introduce students to a range of theories of fantasy and the fantastic;

■ enable students to engage critically at an advanced level with questions of periodicity and canonicity in relation to fantasy literature;

■ provide opportunity for students to engage critically at an advanced level with questions of genre, as raised by fantasy literature;

■ develop students' research and essay writing skills to Master's level.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ produce written work at an advanced level which engages critically with a range of fantasy literature;

■ exhibit an advanced level of oral skills in presentations;

■ identify and interrogate key cultural, political and social issues contributing to the development of fantasy literature in the period covered;

■ describe, interpret and evaluate a range of theoretical approaches to fantasy literature;

■ exercise sophisticated analytical skills in terms of detailed close reading.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.