English 259. J. R. R. Tolkien
Sometimes called the “author of the century,” J. R. R. Tolkien left his mark on both scholarship and the popular culture. Whether or not The Lord of the Rings is “literature” is one of the major topics of this course. Students will read Tolkien’s major works, including The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, as well as his medieval scholarship. We will also examine Tolkien’s sources, including Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Old Norse poetry and saga, and the Finnish Kalevala. The reading load for this course is greater than 2000 pages (plus all three Peter Jackson films), so students should be prepared.