ENGL479D - Selected Topics in English and American Literature after 1800; J.R.R. Tolkien: Middle Earth and Beyond
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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 slelctions 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. The course will be a combination of online lecture and discussion.