Department of English UG Module Directory (2020)

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Early Modern Fantasies

Level 6 (15 credits)

This module will introduce students to the fantastic worlds of early modern Europe. We will read a variety of canonical and popular texts, examine art works and consider how history, geography, scientific experiment and religious belief were infused with fantasy and fiction in this period. The module is designed to encourage creative and independent research of an interdisciplinary nature. It builds on the historical knowledge developed at levels 1 and 2, but offers a new perspective on the early modern works of the imagination. It will also encourage students to think again about our own contemporary context, by revealing how blurred the line between fantasy and reality, fiction and scientific fact often was in the Renaissance. Topics of study may include, but are not limited to, the following: fantasies of style; fantastic voyages and brave new worlds; religious fervours: new ways of imagining God; scientific fictions I: alchemy, chemistry, and the wondrous new science; science fictions II: ghosts, demons and witches as scientific specimens; cabinets of curiosities; sexual fantasies: gender and desire; political fantasies; wonders and portents; theatrical fantasies.

Preparing for this Module and Approximate Costs

Learning Context Long Seminar
Semester 1 or 2

1. Seminar Presentation, 10%
2. Fantastic artefact and commentary (1000 words), 30%
3. Essay (3000 words), 60%

Mode of reassessment Standard
Contact Andrea Brady