HUMS 083, Fantasy in Literature and Film

Meeting Time: 
T 1:30pm-3:20pm
Spring 2020

​Course Description:

Study of how fantasy ideas about race and gender, good and evil, and religion and culture reflect and influence changing ideas about what it means to be human. Authors include Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia Butler, & Nalo Hopkinson. Major fantasy films include Prisoner of Azkeban and Get Out.


Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program:

Fulfills HU distribution requirement.

Led By:

Alfred E. Guy Jr. is the R.W.B. Lewis Director of Writing for Yale College and serves as an Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs. Guy teaches classes about science fiction, gender studies, and happiness. Much of his  scholarship in composition and rhetoric has focused on the link between writing and intellectual development. His recent work in the field investigates academic freedom and teaching conditions of non-tenured faculty (including graduate student teachers. His current research in science fiction examines new configurations of American feminism since the retrenchment of the 1980s, including attention to Patricia Anthony, Octavia Butler, William Gibson, and Maureen McHugh.


This course was previously offered as a residential college seminar in the Fall of 2018. Testimonials are taken from student course evaluations. 

  • Professor Guy is such a wonderful teacher. He is the most thoughtful and considerate discussion moderator I’ve ever encountered– he’s incredibly brilliant and knowledgeable, but values each person’s input and puts a lot of effort into helping you make your points in the best and strongest way you can. The reading list is lots of fun, and make sure you go to the weekly film screenings–they’re a blast and help the class form a real community!”
  • “I especially recommend taking this particular seminar with him because it is such a joy. It is one of my favorite classes I have ever taken at Yale and the highlight of my week.”
  • “I dramatically improved my ability to compose high-level, well reasoned arguments that really built to a worthwhile conclusion–Professor Guy provides so much support on essays that really helped the entire class tighten up their writing skills. “
  • “I left nearly every class feeling inspired by the passion displayed and with a deep sense of excitement for the next lesson, with new ideas reverberating in my brain.”