CJBC822 Fantasy Phenomenon

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2019
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Mgr. Tereza Dědinová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. et Mgr. Zuzana Zoubková (assistant)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Zbyněk Fišer, Ph.D.
Department of Czech Literature and Library Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Mgr. Eva Zachová
Supplier department: Department of Czech Literature and Library Studies - Faculty of Arts
Tue 12:00–13:40 B2.13
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is offered to students of any study field.
The capacity limit for the course is 150 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 67/150, only registered: 0/150, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/150
Course objectives
The main objective of the course is a comprehensive analysis of fantastic literature linking current literary-theory with findings of cognitive science.
The course focuses primarily on the following topics, which will always be analysed first from the point of view of contemporary literary science and subsequently analysed through cognitive psychology:
defining and clarifying the phenomenon of fantastic literature;
the work of influential authors introduction.
analysing the relationships of fantastic literature to reality (to the actual world);
recognition of individual subcategories of fantastic literature;
analysis of the specificity of fantastic literature;
analysis of traditional attribution of SF to less serious streams in the literature;
introducing sociology of fantastic literature;
introducing various theoretical approaches to the fantastic;
research of the function of fantastic in the art.

After completing the course students will be able to:
Orientate themselves in the presented theories and genres, know important works and authors;
understand literary theoretical and cognitive approaches to the fantastic literature;
based on the theoretical background gained, to illustrate the differences between these approaches;
question the literary-theoretical reflection of fantastic literature through the knowledge of cognitive science;
interpret fantastic motifs in a literary work;
understand the fantastic literature in a wider socio-cultural context;
actively supplement other relevant theoretical and theoretical literature, will have an overview of the developing possibilities of studying fantastic literature within the framework of literary theory and cognitive science.
  • What is fantastic literature and what are its features?
  • Description and differentiation of realistic and fantastic streams in literature, roots of their origin and their blending together.
  • Inner-structuring of fantastic literature – traditional (science fiction, fantasy, horror), based on the fictional domain (fictional world), the function of a fantastic element.
  • Criteria and pitfalls of such structuring.
  • Roots of fantastic literature, its connection to myth.
  • Elementary functions of speculative literature, its balance and imbalance in particular pieces of art. Reasons, why authors reach for fantastic motives.
  • Role of speculative literature in a society.
  • Reasons for common attribution of SF into second-rate, escapist literature, elucidation of criteria and prejudices.
  • Fantastic and imaginative literature, fantastic literature in postmodern literature.
  • Fantastic literature in Czech and international context.
  • ARMSTRONG, Paul B.: 2014How Literature Plays with the Brain: The Neuroscience of Reading (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press)
  • ATTEBERY, Brian: 2014 Stories about Stories: Fantasy and the Remaking of Myth (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
  • DĚDINOVÁ, Tereza, Zbyněk FIŠER, Jakub JARINA, Luisa NOVÁKOVÁ, Matěj ANTOŠ, Jana CINDLEROVÁ, Joanna CZAPLIŃSKA, Antonín DOLÁK, Michal FRÁNEK, Anna GNOT, Daniel JAKUBÍČEK, Jiří JELÍNEK, Zdeněk JEŽEK, Hana MÁLKOVÁ, Lenka NALDONIOVÁ, Ester NOVÁKOVÁ, Michaela PAUČO, Ondřej POMAHAČ, Martina SALHIOVÁ, Jakub SOUČEK and Helena ULBRECHTOVÁ. Na rozhraní světů. Fantastická literatura v mezioborovém zkoumání (At the Edge of the Worlds. Fantastic Literature in Interdisciplinary Exploration). 1. vyd. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2016. 376 pp. Spisy Filozofické fakulty Masarykovy univerzity, sv. 454. ISBN 978-80-210-8441-4. doi:10.5817/CZ.MUNI.M210-8441-2016. Digitální knihovna FF MU Munishop info
  • DĚDINOVÁ, Tereza. Po divné krajině : charakteristika a vnitřní členění fantastické literatury (Through a Strange Landscape : Characteristics and Inner Structuring of Fantastic Literature). Vydání první. Brno: Masarykova univerzita, 2015. 228 pp. Spisy Filozofické fakulty Masarykovy univerzity = Opera Facultatis philosophicae Universitatis Masarykianae; 433. ISBN 978-80-210-7871-0. Digitální knihovna FF MU info
  • NIKOLAJEVA, Maria. Reading for learning : cognitive approaches to children's literature. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2014. viii, 247. ISBN 9789027201577. info
  • The Cambridge companion to fantasy literature. Edited by Edward James - Farah Mendlesohn. New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press, 2012. xxiv, 268. ISBN 9780521728737. info
  • HOGAN, Patrick Colm. What literature teaches us about emotion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. xiii, 336. ISBN 9781107477742. info
  • TOLKIEN, J. R. R. Netvoři a kritikové a jiné eseje. Translated by Jan Čermák. Vyd. v tomto souboru 1. Praha: Argo, 2006. 266 s. ISBN 8072037889. info
  • Speculations on speculation : theories of science fiction. Edited by James Gunn - Matthew Candelaria. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2005. xix, 374. ISBN 081084902X. info
  • HOGAN, Patrick Colm. Cognitive science, literature, and the arts : a guide for humanists. New York: Routledge, 2003. 244 stran. ISBN 0415942454. info
  • The Cambridge companion to science fiction. Edited by Edward James - Farah Mendlesohn. First published. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. xxvii, 295. ISBN 9780521016575. info
  • KULKA, Tomáš. Umění a kýč. Praha: Torst, 1994. 183 s. ISBN 80-85639-17-3. info
  • The encyclopedia of science fiction. Edited by John Clute - Peter Nicholls - Brian M. Stableford - John Grant. 1st pub. London: Orbit, 1993. xxxvi, 137. ISBN 1857231244. info
  • ATTEBERY, Brian. Strategies of fantasy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992. xiv, 152. ISBN 0253310709. info
Teaching methods
lecture, discussion, textual analysis.
Assessment methods
Granting the credit is conditional upon handing over the portfolio of tasks assigned during the semester.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught only once.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
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