Courses

Tolkien in Context

This course examines how Tolkien’s subcreated world of Middle-earth engages with issues and concepts relevant to readers, including racism, immigration, the place of women, the ongoing battle of good versus evil, environmental concerns and the rise of technology.

Introduction to Germanic Philology I

This class offers a survey of the older Germanic languages (especially Gothic, Old Norse, and Old English), and the literatures written in those languages.

Modern Fantasy

This course explores fantasy literature written within the past 50 years, with an examination of the works of six top modern fantasy authors: Peter Beagle, Ursula Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, Garth Nix, and George R. R. Martin.

C.S. Lewis and Mythologies of Love and Sex

This course explores some of the great mythologies of love that provide a background to today’s culture, sketched out along the twin paths of C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves and a chronological development of the ideas of love.

The Inklings and King Arthur

This course explores how J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and other Inklings authors interpreted the Arthurian legends in their work.

Beyond Middle-earth

Join Corey Olsen and Tom Shippey for an in-depth look at the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Dystopian Tradition

This class will consider historical and current “what if?” thought experiments, including classics such as 1984 and bestsellers like The Hunger Games.

Beowulf in Old English

This intensive, seminar-style class will give students an opportunity to practice translating the Old English language and to become intimately familiar with the Beowulf text.

Shakespeare and the Middle Ages

The course examines Shakespeare’s Comedies in the context of their medieval literary sources, his Histories in light of Tudor views of the recent medieval past, and his Tragedies in the context of medieval beliefs and cosmologies.

The Gothic Tradition

This course will investigate the fascinating and subversive Gothic imagination, identify the historical conditions that have inspired it, and consider how it has developed across time and place and medium.