ENGL375 - J.R.R. Tolkien: Middle-earth and Beyond

Credit only granted for: ENGL375 or ENGL479D. Formerly: ENGL479D.

Introduction to J.R.R. Tolkien's best-known texts, "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," and beyond. Tolkien's source material, themes, and writing style; the mythology of Tolkien's world as found in his posthumously published works; exploration of some of Tolkien's lesser-known works, such as "Farmer Giles of Ham," Smith of Wooten Major," "The Fall of Arthur," "The Legend of Roverandom" and his essay on "Beowulf."

This course will introduce Tolkien’s best-known texts, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but will go (per the course title) “beyond” these familiar seas in three ways. We will look at aspects of Tolkien’s source material, themes, and writing style that even veteran readers of the texts will find new and challenging. Secondly, in his posthumously published works, we will explore the mythology of Tolkien’s world beyond (yet foundational to) the geographical boundaries of Middle Earth. Finally, we will go beyond the world of the hobbits and wizards by studying some of Tolkien’s lesser-known works. Readings may include selections from the Silmarilion, Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wooten Major, The Fall of Arthur, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, and his seminal essays on Beowulf and Fairy stories. This course will require regular discussion posts and quizzes. It will also involve optional live online lecture and discussion at various times of day.
We will also do some film-book comparisons with scences from Peter Jackson's films and discuss how Tolkien compares to recent popular fantasy such as Harry Potter or Game of Thrones. 
375_Summer 2018 Book Image