Fantastic Texts and Where to Find Them

- Approaching Fantasy Literature, from Fairy Tales to Harry Potter

Due to measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19, the International Summer School is now cancelled

Watch our short video to find out more 

This course will introduce you to fantasy and the fantastic, often defined as the "literature of the impossible".

We will survey key texts across different media (e.g. by J.R.R. Tolkien and Ursula K. Le Guin, as well as cinematic and TV fantasy), while exploring critical approaches and recent theoretical debates. You will also have an opportunity to try your hand at writing fantasy.

Field trips

The course will include two field trips:

  • to Moat Brae in Dumfries (where J.M. Barrie played as a child and later acknowledged as an inspiration for Neverland); and
  • to the Glenfinnan Viaduct (crossed by Hogwarts Express in the second and third Harry Potter films).

Entry requirements

Applicants should have some background in University-level English Literature study, ideally successful completion of an introductory literature course.

You must have

  • GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent)
  • you should be currently enrolled at an international higher education institution.

If your first language is not English, you must meet our minimum proficiency level:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training) overall score of 6.0, with no sub test less than 5.5
  • we also accept equivalent scores in other recognised qualifications such as ibTOEFL, CAE, CPE and more
  • visit eligibility

This is a guide, for further information email rio-internationalsummerschools


What will you learn?

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

  • Analyse (in writing and orally) main themes, structures and expectations of fantasy literature and the fantastic
  • Evaluate critically (in writing and orally) theoretical models and current critical approaches to fantasy and the fantastic
  • Analyse the ways works of fantasy are produced and received within their cultural and socio-historical contexts.