Venture into the world of urban fantasy fiction…
ENG 381: Popular Literature – Urban Fantasy
Come journey into worlds of magic, enchantment, and wonder…in the big city? Focusing on the urban fantasy genre, we will explore the ways that fantastic modes of storytelling can be transposed into cosmopolitan landscapes, with all their overcrowding, crime, and social stratification. Literary authors and scriptwriters use fantasy narrative techniques to illustrate how diverse denizens from varied cultural backgrounds and often clashing interests—immigrants, industrial workers, indigenous populations, soldiers, religious practitioners, houseless people, and ruling classes—interact within this liminal zone.
We’ll read city-centered, literary fiction by Ray Bradbury, Fritz Leiber, Clive Barker, China Mieville, Jennifer Stevenson, Matthew Kaopio, Nalo Hopkinson, Kelly Link, Larissa Lai, Nisi Shawl, and Stephen Graham Jones. We will watch urban-fantasy TV shows, such as episodes of Angel/Buffy, Penny Dreadful, Xena: Warrior Princess, Channel Zero: Candle Cove, The Good Place, Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Game of Thrones, Twin Peaks, Salem, Witches of East End, and Cleverman, as well as the Harry Potter film franchise.
Fulfills the general education requirement: DL
About the Instructor
Ida Yoshinaga is a PhD student in the Creative Writing Program of the UH Mānoa Department of English. A genre theorist and scriptwriting expert, she researches diverse screenwriters who use fantasy-genre modes in TV and film; alternative and indigenous transmedia narrative; and critical approaches to media convergence.
For inquiries about the course: firstname.lastname@example.org.