Middle-earth 101

One class to rule them and in the darkness bind them.

In the pantheon of English courses one might take at a university, there are standbys like Shakespeare, the grammar and rhetoric courses, the non-denominational Brit and American Lit classes, but where, oh where, do the writings of one of the best-known authors of the 20th century fit in this spectrum?

English 276R, that’s where – otherwise known as Tolkien Literature.

What madman or woman would dare teach something as unequivocally complicated and popular as the basis for all fantasy, a series that has inspired countless spinoffs, comics, films and games?

Steve Fullmer, that’s who – the man who is also known for teaching a lit class on heavy metal.

Within the sacred walls of English 276R, sci-fi and fantasy geeks may gather in a safe place to revel in their joy of communal geekness while delving into the universe of Middle-earth, learning about Tolkien’s work on the Oxford English Dictionary while writing The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Students will have the opportunity to create worlds and kingdoms with maps and descriptions of everyday life however they want it, even languages, as they read Tolkien’s various works and compare them to modern day fantasy works like Harry Potter and Twilight, as well as Tolkien’s contemporary, C.S. Lewis, and his The Chronicles of Narnia.

“I took it because it sounded interesting,” said Kelsey Porter, a senior in English. “I loved it because of the way he taught and just going in-depth about the books I love.”

Offered during fall semester 2011, English 276R will be a class to enjoy what is precious in literature.

Leave a Reply