Celtic fantasy has a long history that remains influential in modern literature, popular movies, and TV shows. This class will explore the classics while paying homage to more modern interpretations of fantasy literature. Instructor Delaney Reddell, a graduate of Edinburgh University in Scotland, will start with the Welsh Mabinogion and Arthurian legend. Then the class will be looking at Scottish folk legend influences on the original Peter Pan story by J. M. Barrie. We will spend some time exploring Celtic science fiction, and close out the class with a Celtic perspective on C.S. Lewis and his literature, focusing on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
CLASS DATES & DESCRIPTIONS
- Week 1 [06/06/2021]: The Mythology and History That Built Fantasy
- Celtic fantasy has a long history that remains influential in modern literature, popular movies, and TV shows. In our opening week, we will explore some of the original Irish fantasy literature in the form of medieval Irish mythology. In class, we will read part of the 16th-century Cath Maige Tuirad. This text has been the inspiration for many modern fantasy tales, and it will be a great starting point for our discussion of fantasy and its tropes.
- Week 2 [06/13/2021]: Arthurian Legend and The Basis of Fantasy
- We will be kicking off our second week with a look at the 14th-century Welsh Mabinogion, or "Tales of Youth." We will also dive into Arthurian legends and talk about how fantasy in many ways mimics these epic tales. The texts of Welsh medieval mythology have played a huge role in shaping the plots and tropes of Celtic fantasy, as well as modern contemporary fantasy as a whole.
- – NO CLASS SCHEDULED ON JUNE 20, 2021 –
- Week 3 [06/27/2021]: Peter Pan
- As fantasy became more popular in the 19th and 20th centuries, it began to pull not only from traditional mythology, but also folklore and fairy tales. We will explore how fairy tales and fantasy come together in in an analysis of J. M. Barrie's 1904 classic, Peter Pan. We will talk about fantasy in the Victorian and early modern eras and how modern fantasy got its start.
- – NO CLASS SCHEDULED ON JULY 4, 2021 –
- Week 4 [07/11/2021]: Celtic Science Fiction and Fantasy
- Fantasy literature has been and continues to be shaped by its sub-genre of science fiction. We will explore A Voyage to Arcturus (1920) by Scottish writer David Lindsay. This philosophical novel, which was itself inspired by mythology, has inspired influential modern fantasy writers like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
- Week 5 [07/18/2021]: C.S. Lewis from a Celtic Perspective
- C.S. Lewis was one of the greatest figures in modern fantasy. In our first week discussing him, we will focus on exploring his work through the lens of his Celtic heritage and upbringing. We will examine the beginning of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) and discuss the themes of war and escapism.
- Week 6 [07/25/2021]: A Celtic Narnia
- In our final week, we will finish our discussion of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with a particular focus on the trope of the final battle. We will also be taking a look back at all the influences on modern fantasy literature since the 14th century and how these relate to the Narnia of C.S. Lewis.
Sundays, June 6 – July 25, 2021
ONLINE via ZOOM
Entire Six-Week Course:
$35 for Celtic Arts Center Members / $50 for non-members
Individual, Single Class Rates:
$7 for Celtic Arts Center Members / $10 for non-members
PLEASE REGISTER AT LEAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE.
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Zoom Details: The Zoom meeting invite link will be emailed the Saturday prior to the class. (Any payments received later than this will be emailed the link once their payment processes.) A new Zoom link will be sent out each week to ensure security for the participants.
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