Cogwheels of the fantastic: The mechanisms of medieval fantasy

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2018-01-01
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Wettengel, Michael
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Barbara Haas
Jeremy Withers
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English

The Department of English seeks to provide all university students with the skills of effective communication and critical thinking, as well as imparting knowledge of literature, creative writing, linguistics, speech and technical communication to students within and outside of the department.

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The Department of English and Speech was formed in 1939 from the merger of the Department of English and the Department of Public Speaking. In 1971 its name changed to the Department of English.

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1939-present

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  • Department of English and Speech (1939-1971)

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Abstract

This thesis critically analyzes the fundamental mechanics of the medieval fantasy genre, including its relationship with violence, environment, worldbuilding, and power dynamics. This thesis aims to help establish the start of a lexicon of shared terminology and fantasy novum to better facilitate criticism of medieval fantasy as a distinct genre. Fantasy, Tolkien, and science fiction scholars, amongst others, feature in this thesis to elucidate the current scholarly conversations surrounding fantasy. Said authors also help to illustrate the two primary, fundamental forces of medieval fantasy that this thesis posits are key to understanding the genre for the sake of further critical analysis and improvement of the craft. The two terms are of the authors’ own creation: Culture and Commerce. Both terms are defined and explored in depth in this work. This thesis, furthermore, demonstrates Culture and Commerce in action by integrating a narrative structure to demonstrate how medieval fantasy writers in the past have used Culture and Commerce and how today’s writers may use an understanding of those fundamental fantasy forces to evolve their craft.

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Tue May 01 00:00:00 UTC 2018