Where Tolkien is Taught in Higher Education

Bust of J.R.R. TolkienI have begun compiling a list of university/college-level classes that cover J.R.R. Tolkien at Tolkien Studies on the Web. There are many classes out there, and it will take me a long time to build a substantial resource. It will probably undergo several redesigns as the number of listings grow.

If anyone has information on a college-level course, please feel free to contact me through Xenite.Org’s contact form. I’ll appreciate your picking tolkien-studies.com as the subject line, since I get a lot of other email about other topics.

The classes need to have a Web page on a university server. The page needs to be an official course description, provided either under the department section or under the instructor’s personal pages. The page can be a syllabus if there is no formal description, but it needs to indicate who is teaching the class and what reading materials are required.

1-time seminars are not appropriate. That is, if a class is only taught once and will never be taught again, I don’t think that will work. But I’ll be glad to look at some as I may already have listed one on the site (it was a very interesting class and the Web site contained a lot of information). Special Studies and Senior Seminars where Tolkien or the Inklings are in a rotating pool of topics are acceptable.

The academic discipline can be anything: Religious Studies, Classical Studies, Medieval Studies, Modern Literature, Film, etc. The list is intended to be comprehensive.

Dr. Jane Chance mentioned to me that this kind of resource will help members of the academic communities get book contracts, as it will indicate what sorts of class sales potential such books will have. Frankly, I didn’t think about that angle, but it’s an important one and I am more than happy to do my part to help increase the academic literature on Tolkien and the Inklings.

It will take a lot of time and work for me to make Tolkien Studies on the Web into the type of resource I want it to be. But my goal is to make it a definitive guide to Tolkien research resources on the Web. There will be other sections in the future. I just don’t have enough time to do everything at once.

But any helpful suggestions people care to make for links to class sites will be appreciated. No one is off the list. So any academics who have argued with me in the past, no matter how acrimonious the arguments became, will be included provided they have class Web pages that meet the criteria.