ENG 181 Course Description

ENG 181: Journeying through Faerie

What does Adventure Time have to do with Chaucer? How did we get from Gawain and the Green Knight to Finn and Jake? What do we miss out on if the only Little Mermaid we know is an 80s movie? In this class, we will explore together the development of faerie and fantasy genres, and enter into it ourselves as writers. While reading faerie and fantasy running from medieval romance to Victorian revisioning of the fairy tale and beyond, we will describe and interpret patterns and breaks in the tradition, write the same literary genres that we read, and add our own voices to the scholarly conversation through writing and delivering short conference papers. Like any romance or hero’s journey, we will end by telling others what we have learned through composing educational pieces (such as blog posts, vlogs, and podcasts) for a general audience and making them available online. Instead of a term paper, your challenge will be to communicate your insights to a specific audience, whether in the context of a conference or serving an online community. The readings will include: Sir Orfeo, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, fairy tales by Andrew Lang and the Brothers Grimm, George MacDonald’s The Golden Key, Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market,” and critical work by Tolkien and Lewis (because they were amazing medievalists).

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