English 166

Special Topics: Medieval Fantasy from Tolkien to Game of Thrones

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Session Course Areas
1 Summer 2020 Stevenson, Max
MW 2-5 C


Writers in the 20th and 21st centuries have continually looked to the Middle Ages — or, more to the point, to their idea of the Middle Ages — when constructing epic narratives in fantastic worlds. In this course we’ll ask what it is about the medieval that writers of fantasy find so useful, as well as consider what aspects of the medieval — especially race, gender, and sexuality — their accounts ignore. We’ll read both the medieval literature that modern fantasy draws on and works by (this is a likely list, but subject to change) J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, and Kazuo Ishiguro, as well as view film and television adaptations.

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