What characterises fantasy literature and what can it tell us about our world? How can we understand the genre and how can we read the texts with a critical mind?
The course deals with different aspects of fantasy literature: historical fantasy, children's fantasy, feminist fantasy and dark fantasy. The course does not only aim to offer a thorough introduction to fantasy literature but also to present different aspects of the genre to show the diversity of the genre, while at the same time presenting tools for how to read the texts with a critical mind. Each module will focus on a theme that is presented and discussed through recorded lectures.
Does this sound interesting?
The course starts on March 26. Visit our Facebook page to read more about the course.
Maria is one of the creators of Fantastic fiction and where to find it.
She thinks that the main reason for studying a MOOC is to learn something new while also having fun. She is much looking forward to the publishing of their MOOC this autumn so that they can get started.
Read the rest of the interview with Maria
How did you come up with the idea to create a MOOC about literature?
During the last ten years, we have offered summer courses at the department of film and literature. In addition to our summer course on Harry Potter, which still attracts a lot of students, we also offered a summer course on fantasy literature during one period. We change the course selection for our summer courses on a regular basis and at the moment we do not offer this particular summer course, but we felt that we were not quite done with fantasy literature. So, a while back, we started thinking about offering this genre as a MOOC instead!
Why should anyone read a MOOC?
One can read a MOOC course for a number of different reasons. In order to acquire in-depth knowledge about an area in which one has an interest, or to learn about something that you have never come into contact with before. A MOOC can be a gateway to academic studies and a way to come into contact with other people all over the world who share one's passion and interest. MOOCs are often referred to as Bildung courses – that is to say, courses that are usually introduction courses that broaden the mind. You get an opportunity to learn something new and have fun at the same time.
What is the biggest difference between taking a MOOC and a regular course for which you have to apply?
A MOOC does not generate any credits, cannot be included in a degree and does not entitle the student to student grant. However, it also requires less work than a regular course. On average you will have to set aside maybe 2–3 hours a week. Like on other distance courses, you will have to plan your studies yourself. A MOOC involves a lot of individual studies but you also get to meet many other students in the different discussion forums.
How can I make use of the knowledge in my working life or private life?
More and more MOOCs are being offered, and these can deal with anything from Shakespeare's plays to computer programming. By reading MOOCs you broaden your knowledge, which is of course appreciated by employers. Most of us have busy schedules and many feel stressed out. During the last few years, I have studied a number of MOOCs and these, for instance one on Ancient Egypt, have given me not only new knowledge but also a lot of relaxation!