Fantastic Texts and Where to Find Them

- Approaching Fantasy Literature, from Fairy Tales to Harry Potter (online, remote learning)

Applications are now closed for summer 2022

Any questions please contact

This online 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 et al, The Harry Potter franchise (books, films, web texts, etc.)
  • 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.

Fantastic texts and where to find them - find out why our international summer programme is a perfect introduction to the 'literature of the impossible'.

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
  • visit eligibility

This is a guide, for further information email

What will you 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

By the end of this course you 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.

Teaching pattern and social programme

Teaching Pattern

4 x 30-minute lectures
6 x 2-hour seminars
2 x 2-hour workshops.

Social Programme

The academic course will be accompanied by a varied social programme. Students can join the live events which will be a mix of interactive and informative sessions. These will be recorded so if a student can’t make it to the live event, they will be able to enjoy the recording at a time that better suits their schedule.