Collins Living Learning Center | Real Fantasy in JRR Tolkien
L210 | 30089 | Joshua Congrove
Labeled a number of times as the most important British writer of the 20th century, J.R.R.
Tolkien has seen his popularity only increase in the last few years. The recent Lord of the
Rings film adaptations have brought his works to an entirely new audience, and instilled new
appreciation for the merit of “fantasy” literature. In this course, however, we will see that
Tolkien’s works are no mere piece of fantasy literature, but envision a world as real as our
own. Students will approach Tolkien’s major works from many angles—literary, linguistic,
artistic, religious, musical—and learn to appreciate Tolkien’s writings not just as literary
artifacts of a mid-century British writer, but as repositories of tales useful for their own
creative thinking and writing. And at the end of the course, we will explore how the tales of
Tolkien provide diagnoses, and maybe even solutions, to the problems of our own time.