ENG378H1S - L0101

Special Topics: Fantasy Worlds in Lewis, Jones and Pullman


Tuesday 10 am - 12 pm

Thursday 10 am - 11 am


D. Baker

E-mail: df.baker@utoronto.ca

Brief Description of Course

C.S. Lewis’s Narnia stories have had an enduring after-life. We’ll look at Lewis’s Narnia chronicles; the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, which responds in part to Lewis’s books; and works by Diana Wynne Jones, who was taught by Lewis (and Tolkien). In what ways are these writers confronting the threat of “paradise lost” through their depiction of other worlds? In what ways do notions of place and ecology constitute the fundamental heart of these fantasies? How might the medieval territory of the soul reflected in Lewis’s work bleed into an interpretation of these texts resonate with today’s environmental and climate crisis? We’ll also explore David Robertson’s Indigenous spin on Lewis in The Barren Grounds in considering these and other questions.

Required Reading(s)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Magician’s Nephew; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis; Charmed Life; The Lives of Christopher Chant; Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones; The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman; The Barren Grounds, by David Robertson.

First Three Authors/Texts

C.S. Lewis, Diana Wynne Jones, Philip Pullman.

Method of Evaluation

  • Participation in class discussion
  • Discussion Board on Quercus
  • Short papers
  • A long paper.