The genre of fantasy literature offers a poetic lens through which we can examine our own reality: what do The Chronicles of Narnia say about race, about religion, about mythology? What does the Twilight Saga say about gender? What does Alice in Wonderlandsay about psychology, about our need for escape? Throughout the semester we will raise these and other questions as we read a variety of texts, interpreting the genre loosely enough to incorporate everything from fairy tales to poetry to gothic horror to magical realism.
This general theme, however, will only serve as an avenue into our real work of studying the craft of writing well. We will learn how to build essays from the inside out, starting with the fundamental skills of observation and analysis and moving outward to prose structures and rhetorical strategies. And while these skills will be useful in a variety of academic contexts, this class will focus on writing literary essays.