Tolkien and his Worlds

An opportunity to analyse some of Tolkien’s most notable works of fantasy within an academic framework in light of his own ideas regarding fantasy worldbuilding.

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Course outline

JRR Tolkien is widely regarded as the father of modern fantasy literature. This course asks why, in offering students the opportunity to examine his major, seminal fantasy fictions, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, alongside the theories he himself developed of fantasy worldbuilding. At the same time, we discuss Tolkien’s enduring popularity and “read” some of the recent film adaptations of his texts by Peter Jackson.

The overall aim of this course is to give students an opportunity to analyse some of Tolkien’s most notable works of fantasy within an academic framework in light of his own ideas regarding fantasy worldbuilding, but also a variety of other accounts of how fantasy works as a genre. To what extent does Tolkien exemplify these accounts? Where and when are his works at odds with them? Does it matter?

In this regard, we also attend to Tolkien’s scholarly and critical writing on Celtic and Germanic myth and legend, but especially his work on early English epic and romance. In particular we compare his own fantasies with his translation of the magnificent, early English epic poem Beowulf, recently published, but composed in the same period in which Tolkien was writing of heroic hobbits, fantastic elves and dragons.

Terms & Conditions

This programme gives you the opportunity to attend regular lectures in a selection of courses, alongside enrolled students as an observer. Please note that you are not eligible to attend tutorials, take part in assessments, sit for exams and will not have access to course material online.

You will be provided with a course outline to keep you up to date with the topics discussed in class every week. This is a no-stress learning opportunity.

Details

  • 6 weeks, 9 January - 15 February, Wednesdays 12-2pm and Fridays 12-1pm
  • $295.00 incl. GST
  • The University of Auckland, City Campus
  • Presented by Dr Claudia Marquis

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