English 44 - Spring, 2019

Introductory Topics in Fiction

    Topic: Fantasy Fiction

Class Information

Instructor: Jerng, Mark
CRN: 71809
Time: MWF 10:00-10:50
Location: 26 Wellman


    This course is an introduction to fantasy fiction, focusing specifically on three modes: epic fantasy in the Tolkien tradition, sword and sorcery, and retellings of myth and history. We will explore the overlapping historical, thematic, and formal concerns of each of these modes. These include a) moral, philosophical, and political issues such as the nature of transcendence, questions of causality, agency, and will, and the construction of social and cultural values; b) formal and structural issues in storytelling such as the processes of world-building, the formation of myth, and the critical uses of genre analysis; c) historical issues such as the great wars of the twentieth-century, the imagination of slavery and market economies, the gendered formations of work, play, adventure, and power. We will read representative works by J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lord Dunsany, Ursula K. LeGuin, Joanna Russ, Samuel Delany, Angela Carter, and Nalo Hopkinson, among others.


    Two short literary analysis papers
    2250 word review essay
    Final Exam
    Mid-quarter Quiz


    Return to Neveryon, Samuel Delany
    The Gifts, Ursula K. Le Guin
    The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin
    The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, Angela Carter