spring 2014

Celtic Myth in Children’s Fantasy (Spring 2014)
$95.00

The medieval literature of Ireland and Wales is thought to have saved for posterity the vestiges of what would have been ancient ‘Celtic’ mythology. Tales of heroes, otherworld voyages, transformation and magic have fascinated folklorists and antiquarians since the rediscovery of Celtic texts in the 19th century, and have inspired writers of fantasy literature from Victorian times to today.

This course will examine contemporary (post-World-War-II) fantasy works whose authors have adapted, revised and re-imagined the medieval mythological texts of Ireland and Wales. The course material is divided into two parts:

  1. we will first read and discuss selections from the original sources (Táin Bó CúailngeMabinogion, etc.)
  2. we will then go on to explore the way modern fantasy authors have rewritten this material to address a child or young adult readership.

The course, therefore, serves as a mini-introduction to Celtic mythology, while the focus on children’s and young adult fantasy will allow us to discuss matters of power and ideology, as well as perceptions of Celtic identity in contemporary fiction. The fantasy works we will explore include some of the best, award-winning fantasy of the later 20th century, such as Alan Garner’s The Owl Service (1967, Carnegie Medal), Susan Cooper’s The Grey King (1976, Newbery Medal); and Jenny Nimmo’s The Snow Spider (1986, Tir na n-Og Award).

Taught By

Visiting Professor Dimitra Fimi

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Course Schedule

Celtic Myth in Children's Fantasy (Spring 2014)

Book List

Ancient Irish Tales translated by Tom Peete Cross and Clark Harris Slover
Early Irish Myths and Sagas by Jeffrey Gantz
The Mabinogion translated by Sioned Davies
Lebar Gabála Érenn (The Book of Invasions of Ireland) translated by R. A. S. Macalister * (§48-54: Fir Bolgs, §55-64: Tuatha De Dannan and §65-95: The Milesians)
Cath Maige Tuired Cunga (The First Battle of Magh Turedh) translated by J. Fraser *
Cath Maige Tuired (The Second Battle of Moytura) translated by Whitley Stokes *
Tochmarc Étaíne (The Wooing of Etain) translated by A.H. Leahy *
Aislinge Óenguso (The Dream of Oengus) translated by Ed. Müller *
Noínden Ulad (The Debility of the Ulstermen) translated by T.P. Cross and C.H. Slover *
Compert Con Culainn (The Birth of Cú Chulainn) translated by T.P. Cross and C.H. Slover *
Macgnimrada Con Culaind (The Boyhood Deeds of Cú Chulainn) translated by T.P. Cross and C.H. Slover *
Táin Bó Regamain (The Cattle-Raid of Regamon) translated by A.H. Leahy *
Táin Bó Regamna (The Cattle-Raid of Regamna) translated by A.H. Leahy *
Táin Bó Cúalnge (The Cattle-Raid of Cooley) translated by Joseph Dunn *
- The Pillow-Talk 
- The Healing of Morrigan
- The Appearance of Cuchulain

Fotha Catha Chnucha (The Cause of the Battle of Cnucha) translated by T.P. Cross and C.H. Slover *
Macgnímartha Finn (The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn) translated by T.P. Cross and C.H. Slover *
Oisin’s Mother by Lady Augusta Gregory *
Oisin in the Land of Youth by T.W. Rolleston *
The Mabinogion translated by G. and T. Jones * (especially ’The Four Branches of the Mabinogi’ and ‘The Native Tales’)
Pa gur yv y porthaur? (What  man is the porter?) translated by W.F. Skene *
Preiddeu Annwn (The Spoils of Annwn) translated by Sarah Higley *
The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O’Shea
The New Policeman by Kate Thompson
The Wizard Children of Finn by Mary Tannen
The Lost Legend of Finn by Mary Tannen
The Owl Service by Alan Garner
The Snow Spider Trilogy by Jenny Nimmo
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper

Price: $95.00
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Chaucer: Visions of Love (Spring 2014)
$95.00

This class is the first semester in a two-part survey of Chaucer’s major works.  In this first semester, we will study the works with which Chaucer established his reputation in his time: his early dream vision poems and his greatest completed work: Troilus and Criseyde.  In the second semester, we will study The Canterbury Tales.  In this first semester, we will focus on immersing ourselves in Chaucer’s language, building not only a comprehension of Chaucer’s verse but a sensitivity to the subtle nuances of Chaucer’s tone and narrative voice.  We will be reading Chaucer exclusively in Middle English, but no previous experience with Middle English is required.  Chaucer delights to engage other authors and other texts through his own poems, so we will also be reading some of the works with which Chaucer is explicitly interacting, including medieval favorites such as Ovid, Cicero, Macrobius, and Chaucer’s great Italian predecessor, Boccaccio.

Taught By

Professor Corey Olsen

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Course Schedule

Chaucer: Visions of Love (Spring 2014)

Book List

The Riverside Chaucer by Benson, Pratt and Robinson
The Story of Troilus by R.K. Gordon
Troilus and Criseyde (Norton Critical Edition) edited by Stephen Barney

Price: $95.00
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The Gothic Tradition (Spring 2014)
$95.00

The Gothic literary tradition began in the mid-eighteenth century in Europe and lives on in various forms across the globe through contemporary fiction, poetry, art, music, film, and television. Mad scientists, blasted heaths, abandoned ruins, elusive ghosts, charming vampires, and even little green men people its stories. With ingredients such as a highly developed sense of atmosphere, extreme emotions including fear and awe, and emphases on the mysterious and the paranormal, Gothic works tend to express anxieties about social, political, religious, and economic issues of the time, as well as rejection of prevailing modes of thought and behavior. This course will investigate the fascinating and subversive Gothic imagination (from the haunted castles of Horace Walpole to the threatening aliens of H.P. Lovecraft, from Dracula to Coraline), identify the historical conditions that have inspired it, consider how it has developed across time and place and medium, and explore how it has left its indelible imprint on the modern genres of science fiction and fantasy.

Taught By

Professor Amy H. Sturgis

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Course Schedule

The Gothic Tradition (Spring 2014)

Book List

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
The Italian, or The Confession of the Black Penitents by Ann Radcliffe
The Portable Edgar Allan Poe
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Two Early Vampire Tales: John Polidori’s The Vampyre & J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
Millennium Season One
Doctor Who Season 3
A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
El Orfanato (The Orphanage) directed by J.A. Bayona

Price: $95.00
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