ATS2915 - The roots of fantasy - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Literary Studies

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Patrick Spedding


Dr Patrick Spedding

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.


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:

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


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

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