Modern Fantasy

Friday, April 13, 2012

Modern Fantasy course set to explore contemporary works and their writers at Mythgard Institute

Modern Fantasy (Press Image)Hartly, DE. – The Mythgard Institute will be following up its first foray into fantasy literature studies, Spring 2012′s “Taking Harry Seriously,” with a new course for Summer 2012, “Modern Fantasy.”  The 12-week course can be taken for master’s level credit or audited and will not be a systematic survey of all of the genre but will instead focus on some of the most influential writers of the past 50 years.

In the course, students will explore Peter Beagle’s shrewd contemplation on fairy-tale tradition in The Last Unicorn and Ursula Le Guin’s classic of modern subcreation, A Wizard of Earthsea.  The frontiers between our mundane world and the realm of Faerie will be explored next with Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and Jim Butcher’s Summer Knight. Garth Nix’s Sabriel continues the focus on frontiers, dealing with the mundane and the magical and the parallel boundary between life and death.  Finally, students will tackle George RR Martin’s massively sub creative A Game of Thrones, the first volume of The Song of Ice and Fire.  Registration for this course closes Monday, May 14, 2012.

“Modern Fantasy” will be taught by Mythgard’s president, Dr. Corey Olsen.  Dr. Olsen is a teacher, lecturer, podcaster (you may know him from his popular The Tolkien Professor series) and, most recently, an author.  His book, Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit will be out from Houghton-Mifflin in September 2012.

The Mythgard Institute is an online institution that offers challenging, engaging classes, taught by world-class teachers and leading scholars in order to provide students with new opportunities to study works by authors like Tolkien, Rowling, Gaiman and more seriously and with academic rigor, either for their own enrichment or towards the achievement of a degree.  The Institute offers literature courses at the master’s level and offers concentrations in areas such as Tolkien studies, medieval literature, and fantasy literature.  The Mythgard Institute is in the process of acquiring full certification and accreditation, and expects to be able to award MA’s in English literature by the spring of 2013.

“Modern Fantasy” is one of three Summer 2012 courses being offered via the Mythgard Institute and its partner in learning, Signum University.  The others are “The Arthur Story: History, Mystery, Myth” which will be taught by Dr. Verlyn Flieger and “Elementary Latin I” which will be taught by Dr. Philip Walsh.

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