MLitt in fantasy fiction makes headlines

The decision by Glasgow's School of Critical Studies to run an MLitt course in Fantasy Fiction has prompted positive headlines.

The course is being run by Dr Robert Maslen an expert in 16th- and 17th-century literature who has written scholarly works on Shakespeare's comedies and Sir Philip Sidney's Apology For Poetry.

Robert is (obviously) a fan of fantasy fiction and is already in the process of selecting applicants. He already runs an undergraduate course in fantasy which is open to 40 students a year.

Last weekend, the Herald newspaper ran a major feature on the MLitt venture which is available on the newspaper's online archive.

The Herald's Senior Features Writer, Teddy Jamieson, wrote: "It's that notion of impossibility that's key, Maslen reckons. Fantasy questions all our definitions of cause and effect, he argues. "We have narratives to tell ourselves about how the world works. One such narrative is the language of science. But in fact much of our lives we spend not really knowing what's making things happen at all.

"Fantasy steps into that breach and enables us to think of alternative ways of telling our own story which are entirely different to the ones we have been taught."

The course webpage asks: "Are you a fan of fantasy fiction? Or are you simply curious as to why the fantastic can be found all around us in the twenty-first century, from videogames and films to poetry, songs, television, novel series, and so-called 'mainstream' fiction? This programme allows you to engage with one of the most vibrant literary genres of the last two centuries - and a major cultural phenomenon of our time."

Robert told Campus e-News: It's too soon to know what the effect of the piece will be on applications, though we have certainly had enquiries this week. It's certainly raised the profile of the programme, though, and I've had a lot of people responding to it and re-tweeting the link."


First published: 6 July 2015

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