Fantastic Texts and Where to Find Them: Approaching Fantasy Literature

Applications now closed

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 in a Creative Writing workshop.

Indicative Texts

  • J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea
  • Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters
  • J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros, et al, The Harry Potter franchise
  • Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, Monstress: Awakening (graphic novel)
  • A selection of short stories by contemporary diverse authors (e.g. N.K. Jemisin, Amal El Mohtar, etc.) 


  • Historicizing fantasy (long vs. short history, the fairy-tale tradition, fantasy’s futures)
  • Theorizing fantasy (key theorists introduced: Tolkien, Attebery, Mendlesohn)
  • Maps and worldbuilding in fantasy
  • Fantasy across media
  • Beyond Anglocentric Fantasy.

What you will learn

This course aims to:

  • Explore a range of key texts of fantasy and fantastic in its different forms and media
  • Examine critical approaches to, and current debates in, fantasy and the fantastic
  • Consider fantasy texts within their cultural context.

Teaching pattern

The course will be a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. There will also be a field trip. 

Entry requirements

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

You must have

  • A 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 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.

This is a guide, for further information email