Fantasy has gone far since its humble beginnings with Victorian Era authors like John Ruskin (The King of the Golden River) and George MacDonald (The Princess and The Goblin). Just consider the fact that Game Of Thrones is HBO’s current flagship show and its season six premiere was watched by nearly eight million people.
Enter Fantasy: MLitt at the University Of Glasgow, a year long master’s degree specializing in the genre. The syllabus states, “This programme allows you to engage with one of the most vibrant literary genres of the last two centuries – and a major cultural phenomenon of our time.” Basically, the program is encouraging its students to dig deep into the roots of the Fantasy and contextualize the glow of the genre’s current cultural prominence among superhero films, YA adaptations, and other genres. If you have an English undergraduate degree (or something similar), a sample piece of written work (around 3,000 words in length), a statement of intent, and at least one academic reference, you’ll be one step closer to spending a year in gorgeous Glasgow, Scotland reading Ursula K. Le Guin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, Terry Pratchett, and more. Sounds pretty damn cool to me.
My father once casually took a Tolkien-themed class in college at the height of Lord Of The Rings’s second wave of popularity in the 70s when Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin was singing lines like, “In the darkest depths of Mordor/I met a girl so fair/but Gollum and The Evil One/crept up and slipped away with her, yeah.”. This University Of Glasgow master’s program, on the other hand, looks to be for serious Fantasy scholars only. But really, I’m drooling over the possible thesis titles I would write. Just think: Queerness & Visibility In Peter Jackon’s The Hobbit, Games Of Thrones & Problematic Aspects Of Alternate Histories, Chronicles Of Narnia Versus His Dark Materials: A Study In Religious Metaphor. Guess I better pack my bags!
Have you taken any fantasy classes in college? Who are your favorite fantasy works? What fantasy books/films/comics should we check out? Let us know in the comments below!
Header Image by Tom Jung