Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Patrick Spedding


The unit is designed to introduce students to the origins of modern high fantasy via a range of major English texts from the early-Modern to the late-Modern period. The unit includes a selection of verse and prose narratives which use fairy and folk tale, myth and legend, the supernatural, weird, uncanny and marvellous to represent an idealised past, criticise the present and to explore the unconscious.


Students successfully completing this subject will be able to identify:

  1. key characteristics of fantasy;
  2. the historical development, and the range of historical manifestations, of fantasy;
  3. the literary, social and cultural roots, and the impact, of fantasy;
  4. key critical debates concerning a range of fantasy genres;
  5. the relevance of these debates to the course-texts as well as to modern works of high fantasy.

Students successfully completing this subject will also be able to:

  1. argue their interpretations clearly and persuasively in oral and essay form;
  2. communicate fruitfully in discussion;
  3. demonstrate skill in identifying and using a range of original texts, scholarly editions and digital archives.


Written work: 65%
Test (1 hour): 25%
Tutorial participation : 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

22 hours per semester

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A gateway unit in Literary Studies or permission.