F404 Winter 2020 Tolkien's Legendarium
Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 29–Feb. 19
Instructor: Amelia Rutledge
Class limit: 40
is J.R.R. Tolkien's name for the collected stories of Middle Earth—tales of the “Enemy, of whom Sauron...was but a servant,” of the great human heroes, Beren and the hapless Túrin—and events of the millennia preceding The Lord of the Rings
, his best-known work. Tolkien constantly reworked his “great world” Arda for inner consistency. This required him to work as a speculative theologian as part of his rule-based world-building. The course will focus on the key concepts and episodes that underlie Tolkien's “Secondary World.”
- Jan. 29: Creation and Fall: Tolkien's Theological Construct.
- Feb. 5: Féanor and the Silmarils.
- Feb. 12: Human Heroes: Beren and Lúthien, The Children of Húrin.
- Feb. 19: Ending the Third Age: Sauron's Downfall, and The Departure of the Elven-Rings.
Strongly recommended: The Silmarillion
(shorter versions of key stories with many used copies available).
Dr. Amelia A. Rutledge,
a medievalist, retired from the English department at George Mason University where she taught courses in medieval literature, science fiction, fantasy, and children’s literature.