This course explores some of the great mythologies of love that provide a background to today’s culture, sketched out along the twin paths of C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves and a chronological development of the ideas of love.
In this class we will study one of the great classics of English literature, The Canterbury Tales, in which we see Chaucer at the height of his poetic abilities, mixing sensitive characterization with stunningly complex storytelling.
This course explores the work of H.P. Lovecraft and his impact on literature and popular culture. Students will study the foundations of Lovecraft’s writing, the meaning behind his works, along with his cosmic vision and legacy.
This course surveys a range of literary and cinematic narratives that explore the growth, acceleration, and consequences of modern technoculture. Works of literature will be placed alongside films and embedded historically within debates and developments.
This course explores fantasy literature written within the past 50 years, with an examination of the works of six top modern fantasy authors: Peter Beagle, Ursula Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, Garth Nix, and George R. R. Martin.
This course uses the life and works of Tolkien as an introduction to the discipline of comparative philology and to highlight the many links between this field and his creative writings. The course offers an introductory overview of several Germanic languages and their literatures, such as Gothic, Old and Middle English, and Old Norse, and covers select topics in Germanic comparative grammar.
The course examines Shakespeare’s Comedies in the context of their medieval literary sources, his Histories in light of Tudor views of the recent medieval past, and his Tragedies in the context of medieval beliefs and cosmologies.
This course will investigate the fascinating and subversive Gothic imagination, identify the historical conditions that have inspired it, and consider how it has developed across time and place and medium.
This course examines the life of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, including several important precursors of the book, works that helped establish the genre in which Tolkien was writing, and which influenced Tolkien’s own thinking.
This course examines how Tolkien’s subcreated world of Middle-earth engages with issues and concepts relevant to readers, including racism, immigration, the place of women, the ongoing battle of good versus evil, environmental concerns and the rise of technology.
This course explores the major science fiction and fantasy works of Ursula K. Le Guin, how they relate to her literary theories and social interests, and how she envisioned and revisioned the worlds of her imagination.