The University of Southampton
Courses

ENGL3015 Fantasy Film and Fiction

Module Overview

Fantasy film and fiction spans a wide range of texts, from Gothic 'classics' and feminist fairy tales, to Utopian literature and musicals. Analysing fantasy texts alongside psychoanalytic and cultural theories will enable you to engage with questions concerning the body, sexual identity and genre. To enhance your interdisciplinary skills working in literature and film we will draw on theories of the gaze, the uncanny, abjection and identification. NOTE: this module includes study of some modern horror films. Students may find some of the images from these films upsetting, and should be aware of the course content in advance.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Develop interdisciplinary skills in comparative analysis of literary and filmic texts • Introduce key theories of fantasy, particularly from psychoanalysis and genre theory • foster film analytic skills developed in earlier film studies modules (though the module is open to those who have never studied film before)

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The critical relationship between filmic and literary texts, including theories of adaptation;
  • Some important fantasy and horror sub-genres, such as body horror, the children’s fantasy film, gothic/supernatural horror;
  • the ways in which the module texts operate as a space in which sexual, racial and other forms of difference are interrogated;
  • Key psychoanalytic concepts useful in the analysis of fantasy such as the uncanny and abjection;
  • Utopianism and dystopianism in film and fiction.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • present the findings from your reading in class discussion;
  • work in small-group discussion and then present the results of your discussion to the group as a whole;
  • analyse complex written texts, and work effectively across and between fictional, filmic and theoretical texts;
  • structure an argument in written form over 2000 words.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • locate relevant sections from video or dvd and present them to your peers for class discussion;
  • retrieve material from the module Blackboard site.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • deploy key film theories and methodologies in the analysis of both filmic and literary texts;
  • evaluate and put to work relevant psychoanalytic and gender theories;
  • describe the primary qualities of various fantasy sub-genres

Syllabus

This module is concerned with fantasy film and fiction, involving analysis of a range of fantasy, science- fiction, Gothic and horror texts from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, alongside psychoanalytic and cultural theories of fantasy, identity, and genre. It is organized around a number of discrete blocks of two and three weeks, focusing on Gothic 'classics', feminist fairy tales, musicals, Utopian literature, and more general writing and images specifically concerned with the body and sexual identity, as well as psychoanalytic theories of the gaze, the uncanny, abjection and identification. NOTE: this module includes study of some modern horror films. Students may find some of the images from these films upsetting, and should be aware of the course content in advance.

Special Features

Preparation for seminars leading to a short presentation in each seminar of the work you’ve done facilitates full participation in the course, and enhances the progressive learning structure of the course. You will develop your oral as well as your intellectual skills, and will have your ideas supplemented and challenged each week, which will enable you to produce more complex and informed essays.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures • Seminars • Screenings • individual essay consultation Learning activities include • preparing for weekly seminars, in which all students present something from their reading and viewing during the week; • individual research, including web-based research • making notes whilst viewing a film

TypeHours
Independent Study130
Teaching20
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Virginia Woolf. Orlando. 

Orlando (Sally Potter, UK 1992). Film

The Others (Alejandro Amenábar, US 2001). Film

Ros e ma ry’s Baby (Roman Polanski, US 1968). Film

Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett, US/Canada 2000). Film

Shrek (Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, US 2001). Film

A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger, UK 1946). Film

Twleve Monkeys (Terry Gilliam, US 1996). Film

Toy Story 2 (John Lasseter et al, US 1999). Film

B ra m St oke r’s Dra cula (Francis Ford Coppola, US 1992). Film

Annette Kuhn (ed) (1990). Alien Zone: Cultural Theory and Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema. 

The Fly (David Cronenberg, US 1986). Film

The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, US 1939). Film

Barbara Creed (1993). The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis. 

Bram Stoker. Dracula. 

Angela Carter. The Bloody Chamber. 

Carol J. Clover (1992). Men, Women and Chain Saws: Gender in the modern horror film. 

Brazil (Terry Gilliam, UK 1985). Film

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback • short presentation each seminar on the reading/viewing you have done in preparation for that class; • individual consultation in preparation for essays, and feedback when the essay is marked.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Essay  (2000 words) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework %

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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