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Documenting Tolkien university classes

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  • Michael Martinez
    Hi, folks, I ve been developing a new Tolkien research site and one of the sections is a link list to university/college sites that teach Tolkien courses or
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 16 9:18 AM
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      Hi, folks,

      I've been developing a new Tolkien research site and one of the
      sections is a link list to university/college sites that teach Tolkien
      courses or courses where Tolkien is required reading or a topic of
      discussion.

      I have found many classes that have not yet been added to the list
      because I need to review the syllabi and course descriptions and make
      sure they say something substantive about how the classes cover
      Tolkien.

      Nonetheless, this is an ongoing project and it will take a lot of time
      for me to compile a good list of resources.

      If anyone here knows of a course being taught on Tolkien (or on a
      subject where Tolkien's work is a substantial part of the course
      work), please drop me a line offlist. I don't mind browsing the
      Mythsoc list for suggestions in the least, but I suspect this type of
      request is best handled offlist.

      The classes need to be from universities and colleges. My list so far
      only includes U.S. institutions but I welcome non-U.S. listings. I'll
      eventually add them anyway.

      The classes can be for credit or in continuing education.

      1-time seminars are not being included unless there is an indication
      that the topic has been or will be re-scheduled. So, any Special
      Studies courses where Tolkien was obviously done only once won't be
      acceptable. But any special studies or seminar courses where Tolkien
      (oor the Inklings) is a regular or semi-regular topic are acceptable.

      I need URLs to course descriptions. Class syllabi are okay, provided
      they indicate who teaches the class and whether it may be offered more
      than once.

      The classes can be in any discipline. I have so far found classes in
      Classical Studies, Religious Studies, Medieval Studies, Modern
      Literature, etc. I accepted one class that focused on Tolkien and
      Film (specifically comparing Tolkien's work to the movies) even though
      I'm not sure it will be offered again.

      What is most important is that the course descriptions/syllabi include
      at least some references for required reading. There should also be
      an indication of who is teaching the course.

      At this time, I am NOT looking for high school-level classes, although
      I'll give that some consideration further on down the road.

      Thanks in advance.

      --
      Michael Martinez
      Author of Understanding Middle-earth, Parma Endorion, and Visualizing
      Middle-earth
      http://www.michael-martinez.com/
      "Cuando Maria canta, ella canta para mí"
    • Matthew Winslow
      Michael, The University of Washington, Seattle, just recently (within the past two months) approved a new course on Tolkien, to be offered by the history
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 16 9:46 AM
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        Michael,

        The University of Washington, Seattle, just recently (within the past
        two months) approved a new course on Tolkien, to be offered by the
        history department.

        http://www.washington.edu/students/crscat/modeuro.html#hsteu370

        --
        Matthew Winslow
        mwinslow@...
        www.xreal.org

        Currently Reading: An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears
      • Michael Martinez
        ... Thanks. I can see I m going to have to redesign my links list sooner than I hoped. I ve found several institutions where all they have are little blurbs
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 16 11:01 AM
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          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Matthew Winslow" <bluewoad@...> wrote:
          >
          > Michael,
          >
          > The University of Washington, Seattle, just recently (within the past
          > two months) approved a new course on Tolkien, to be offered by the
          > history department.
          >
          > http://www.washington.edu/students/crscat/modeuro.html#hsteu370

          Thanks.

          I can see I'm going to have to redesign my links list sooner than I
          hoped. I've found several institutions where all they have are little
          blurbs like that one. Jane Chance pointed out to me that this list
          will be useful to people who need to project potential sales to
          students for books on Tolkien. A supplemental list of class listings
          without the reference material would probably be helpful.

          --
          Michael Martinez
          Author of Understanding Middle-earth, Parma Endorion, and Visualizing
          Middle-earth
          http://www.michael-martinez.com/
          "Cuando Maria canta, ella canta para mí"
        • Larry Swain
          Michael, You should keep in mind that a number of colleges and universities use programs such as Blackboard now, that while use a web interface are not
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 16 11:24 AM
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            Michael,

            You should keep in mind that a number of colleges and universities use programs such as Blackboard now, that while use a web interface are not available via the web. My course for example From Homer to Neo in which over 1/3 is devoted to LoTR is entirely on blackboard. While I'm sure that you would never list my course, I know that I can not be alone in this.

            You might take a look too if you haven't already at the Univ. of Chicago. I applied for a faculty job there recently and the person whose position I assume is the one being replaced taught several Tolkien courses over the last few years. You may already have these though.

            Larry Swain

            >
            > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Matthew Winslow" <bluewoad@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Michael,
            > >
            > > The University of Washington, Seattle, just recently (within the past
            > > two months) approved a new course on Tolkien, to be offered by the
            > > history department.
            > >
            > > http://www.washington.edu/students/crscat/modeuro.html#hsteu370
            >
            > Thanks.
            >
            > I can see I'm going to have to redesign my links list sooner than I
            > hoped. I've found several institutions where all they have are little
            > blurbs like that one. Jane Chance pointed out to me that this list
            > will be useful to people who need to project potential sales to
            > students for books on Tolkien. A supplemental list of class listings
            > without the reference material would probably be helpful.
            >
            > --
            > Michael Martinez
            > Author of Understanding Middle-earth, Parma Endorion, and Visualizing
            > Middle-earth
            > http://www.michael-martinez.com/
            > "Cuando Maria canta, ella canta para mí"
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >

            >


            --
            _______________________________________________
            Surf the Web in a faster, safer and easier way:
            Download Opera 8 at http://www.opera.com

            Powered by Outblaze
          • Croft, Janet B.
            Mike wrote: Jane Chance pointed out to me that this list will be useful to people who need to project potential sales to students for books on Tolkien. Good
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 16 11:26 AM
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              Mike wrote: Jane Chance pointed out to me that this list will be useful
              to people who need to project potential sales to students for books on
              Tolkien.

              Good point! I've passed your original request on to two people I know
              of who teach Tolkien-centered classes here on campus. There's another
              one on folklore that includes a lot of Tolkien but isn't centered on
              Tolkien, and I don't know if that would be of any interest to you.

              Janet Brennan Croft
              Head of Access Services
              University of Oklahoma Libraries
              Bizzell 104NW
              Norman OK 73019
              405-325-1918
              Fax 405-325-7618
              jbcroft@...
              http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/
              http://libraries.ou.edu/
              Editor of Mythlore http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html
            • Michael Martinez
              ... The purpose of the listing is to collate in one place a list of online reference materials such as course syllabi and outlines for people who want to study
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 16 8:10 PM
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                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Swain" <theswain@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > Michael,
                >
                > You should keep in mind that a number of colleges and universities
                > use programs such as Blackboard now, that while use a web interface
                > are not available via the web. My course for example From Homer to
                > Neo in which over 1/3 is devoted to LoTR is entirely on
                > blackboard. While I'm sure that you would never list my course, I
                > know that I can not be alone in this.

                The purpose of the listing is to collate in one place a list of
                online reference materials such as course syllabi and outlines for
                people who want to study Tolkien. The required reading lists will be
                the most useful portions of these sites.

                No one's class will be excluded provided there is a publicly
                accessible page which describes the course and its study materials.

                As I've already encountered a number of course listings that don't
                offer the details I'm looking for, I see I'll have to provide a
                secondary list of schools that offer classes relating to Tolkien.

                I have a list of several hundred URLs I am going through. It will
                take time. I decided to make this request in several places to speed
                up the process. Anyone who can point me to a URL like this one

                http://cc.purdue.edu/~corax/clcs337.html

                will be helping me. All suggestions are welcome. It doesn't matter
                if I already have the URLs. I'm just trying to compile a list as
                quickly as possible.

                No ratings, recommendations, referrals, endorsements, or
                blacklistings are involved. If an institution has added a class to
                its curriculum and has published information about the class (even if
                it's only a page under the instructor's account on the school
                server), I want to see the URL.

                Based on the feedback I've already received, I know this project will
                evolve pretty fast.

                --
                Michael Martinez
                "Cuando Maria canta, canta para mí"
                http://www.michael-martinez.com/
                http://michael-martinez.blogspot.com/
              • Michael Martinez
                ... useful ... Well, I was hoping to get the site into better shape before posting the URL here, because it still needs a lot of work. The disclaimer is
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 16 8:17 PM
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                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Mike wrote: Jane Chance pointed out to me that this list will be
                  useful
                  > to people who need to project potential sales to students for books on
                  > Tolkien.
                  >
                  > Good point! I've passed your original request on to two people I know
                  > of who teach Tolkien-centered classes here on campus. There's another
                  > one on folklore that includes a lot of Tolkien but isn't centered on
                  > Tolkien, and I don't know if that would be of any interest to you.

                  Well, I was hoping to get the site into better shape before posting the
                  URL here, because it still needs a lot of work. The disclaimer is
                  probably something that should be reworded into a less colorful
                  statement, for example.

                  But the new site is called Tolkien Studies on the Web. The domain is:

                  http://www.tolkien-studies.com/

                  The goal of this site is to provide resources for people who are
                  studying the works of Tolkien. It's not directed at the academic
                  community. It's directed at the online community. But I have long
                  been aware of many academic Web sites that offer considerable
                  information on Tolkien studies. I felt it would be appropriate to
                  include the listing of schools that provide information on their
                  Tolkien-related courses.

                  The class listing is located at:

                  http://www.tolkien-studies.com/tolkien-classes/

                  The list right now is not very well organized. As I mentioned in my
                  previous reply to Larry, I have compiled several hundred URLs that I
                  have to go through. I am pretty sure I will be dropping the lengthy
                  descriptions and excerpts that I've included so far. More than likely,
                  the page will be broken up into sub-pages by discipline or by region.
                  Eventually, I'll organize the listings alphabetically by school.

                  But you can get an idea of what types of URLs I am seeking from the
                  ones already published.

                  I am not vetting these classes beyond the criteria I have already
                  disclosed. If an institution has added a class with substantial
                  Tolkien material or interest to its curriculum, that's good enough for
                  me. I've sat on a university curriculum committee and I have an idea
                  of what's involved in getting a class approved.

                  This is not a political list in any sense. Other portions of the
                  project apply some standards to selecting Web sites that may ruffle a
                  few feathers, but no one in the academic community needs to be
                  concerned about being excluded from this list on the basis of who they
                  are, what books they have published, or whether they and I ever agree
                  on anything.

                  Thanks again to everyone for their help.

                  --
                  Michael Martinez
                  "Cuando Maria canta, canta para mí"
                  http://www.michael-martinez.com/
                  http://michael-martinez.blogspot.com/
                • Larry Swain
                  ... The point of my last email was to point out that by restricting your list to only materials accessible via the web, you ll be leaving out a whole lot of
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 17 10:46 AM
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                    >
                    >
                    > No one's class will be excluded provided there is a publicly
                    > accessible page which describes the course and its study materials.

                    The point of my last email was to point out that by restricting your list to only materials accessible via the web, you'll be leaving out a whole lot of Tolkien courses being taught out there, because of programs like Blackboard. You could make wider appeals for syllabi and information and place those on your own server. Just a suggestion.

                    ANd again, a worthy project, so nice job!

                    Larry Swain




                    --
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                  • Michael Martinez
                    ... materials. ... I appreciate the suggestion, Larry. My partner does sysadmin work for a university, so I ve heard of Blackboard and understood what you
                    Message 9 of 9 , Mar 17 12:37 PM
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                      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Swain" <theswain@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > No one's class will be excluded provided there is a publicly
                      > > accessible page which describes the course and its study
                      materials.
                      >
                      > The point of my last email was to point out that by restricting
                      > your list to only materials accessible via the web, you'll be
                      > leaving out a whole lot of Tolkien courses being taught out there,
                      > because of programs like Blackboard. You could make wider appeals
                      > for syllabi and information and place those on your own server.
                      > Just a suggestion.

                      I appreciate the suggestion, Larry. My partner does sysadmin work
                      for a university, so I've heard of Blackboard and understood what
                      you were saying.

                      For now, the purpose of the Web site is to direct people interested
                      in studying Middle-earth through Internet resources to a broad
                      selection of reference sites. The academic pages with course
                      information and syllabi are a secondary tier of resources.

                      However, now that several professors have mentioned the value they
                      could derive from an extensive listing of university courses, I
                      appreciate the need and will do my best to address it. I've already
                      redesigned the page and will probably add a second list just of
                      schools which offer courses but don't make any information publicly
                      available.

                      I may also, should I keep my energy level on this project going,
                      create a directory of professors/instructors who have published
                      books and articles about Tolkien. But then again, I may not. That
                      is far more ambitious than I originally planned.

                      > ANd again, a worthy project, so nice job!

                      Thank you. My goal is to produce a large resource at the site by
                      the end of the year. This is by no means a 1-week project.

                      For example, I've come across several university Web sites that
                      discuss Tolkien Studies institutes, journals, and special programs
                      I've never heard of before. Again, that's outside the scope
                      of "Tolkien Studies on the Web", but I hate to just leave that
                      information buried amid a huge list of URLs I have to sift through.

                      So, assuming I don't run out of steam before I reach that point, I
                      may compile another directory of these types of special academic
                      resources.

                      I thought I knew what I was getting into, but it's turning out to be
                      a pretty big iceberg.

                      --
                      Michael Martinez
                      "Cuando Maria canta, canta para mí"
                      http://www.michael-martinez.com/
                      http://michael-martinez.blogspot.com/
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