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English Taster Days

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English Taster Days

Fantasy and Literature

Find out more about our upcoming Taster Days with the English department

Our 2019-20 Music Taster Days have now taken place. 


Past events

Explore the world of Fantasy literature on Wednesday 20 November 2019

Fantasy is more popular now than it has ever been: from J R R Tolkien’s perennial The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to George R R Martin’s blockbusting Song of Fire and Ice, from Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials to J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. More people are reading and writing Fantasy literature than ever before. Which leads to the question: why isn’t Fantasy studied at A-level? Does the study of literature at school or university gravitate towards the dull and worthy, and away from the escapist fun that fantasy represents? If so that says some alarming things about the study of literature at school or university.

This day will respond to these questions with two lectures and seminars. Professor Adam Roberts, a critic, scholar and science fiction/fantasy author, will discuss why Fantasy is so popular, what it remains relevant, and why it is the secret truth of literature as such. Dr Jenny Neville, a specialist on Tolkien and medieval literature, will address the rich relation between the two. There will also be a number of seminars to choose from on the day.

This Taster Day begins with registration in the foyer of the Emily Wilding Davison Building at 9.30am. The day will finish at 3.30pm and visitors are asked to bring a packed lunch or money to buy lunch on campus.

Book your place using the above link. 

For more information, or if booking multiple tickets (e.g. for a school group) please email

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