Beyond Middle-earth


May 13, 2013
12 Weeks
LITA 5307


Dr. Corey Olsen
Dr. Corey Olsen
University President; Board Member: President; Lecturer
Dr. Tom Shippey
Dr. Tom Shippey
Erin Aust

What do we learn about Tolkien’s imagination through his short stories? Through his poems? Through his scholarship? Through his books for children?

Tolkien’s Middle-earth legends dominated his creative life, from their birth in the early Silmarillion tales through their absorption of Bilbo Baggins’s diary and their culmination in the tale of the Great Ring. However, throughout his life, Tolkien wrote many small pieces of prose and verse that were not directly drawn into the great narrative of Middle-earth. Tolkien’s children’s books, his scholarship, his short stories, and his eclectic short poems combine to provide a unique glimpse into Tolkien’s thought and imaginative development over the course of fifty years. This summer, join Mythgard President Corey Olsen and the great Tolkien and Anglo-Saxon scholar Tom Shippey for an in-depth look at a J.R.R. Tolkien you might never have met before.

Course Schedule

Week 1

Leaf by Niggle

Week 2

Farmer Giles of Ham

Week 3

“The Adventures of Tom Bombadil”

Week 4

Short Poems: Of Boots, Bimble Bay, and the Man in the Moon

Week 5

Short Poems: Of Beasts, Fabulous Monsters, and Fairies

Week 6

Short Poems: Of Diverse Mariners

Week 7

Smith of Wootton Major

Week 8

Tolkien’s Scholarship: Beowulf – Dr. Tom Shippey

Week 9

Tolkien’s Scholarship: Beorhtnoth and Sir Gawain – Dr. Tom Shippey

Week 10

Tolkien’s Scholarship: Pearl and Sir Orfeo – Dr. Tom Shippey

Week 11

The Father Christmas Letters

Week 12


Required Texts

Course History

This course has been offered in the following semesters.

Beyond Middle-earth Offerings
Semester Preceptor(s)
Summer 2013 Dr. Erin Aust, Liam Daley