Course syllabus

 

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Subject and Catalogue Number: Tolkien and his Worlds

SUMMERSCHOOL, 2018

15 points

 

Course Convenor

Dr Claudia Marquis

email: c.marquis@auckland.ac.nz

 

Course delivery format

3 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorial

(Room details can be viewed on Student Services Online)

 

Summary of Course Description              

R. R. Tolkien is widely regarded as the father of modern fantasy literature. This course asks why, in offering students the opportunity to examine his major, seminal fantasy fictions, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, alongside the theories he himself developed of fantasy world-building. At the same time, we discuss Tolkien’s enduring popularity and ‘read’ some of the recent film adaptations of his texts by Peter Jackson.

The overall aim of this course is to give students an opportunity to analyse some of Tolkien’s most notable works of fantasy within an academic framework in light of his own ideas regarding fantasy world building, but also a variety of other accounts of how fantasy works as a genre.  To what extent does Tolkien exemplify these accounts?  Where and when are his works at odds with them?  Does it matter? 

In this regard, we also attend to Tolkien’s scholarly and critical writing on Celtic and Germanic myth and legend, but especially his work on early English epic and romance.  In particular we compare his own fantasies with his translation of the magnificent, early English epic poem Beowulf, recently published, but composed in the same period in which Tolkien was writing of heroic hobbits, fantastic elves and dragons.

 

Course outcomes

AIMS AND OUTCOMES:

This paper aims to improve the following skills you will have learnt in other English papers in the Department:

     Ability to think critically

     Ability to listen and form sound intellectual judgements

     Acquire sound reading skills

     Improve your skill in writing a coherent and lucid essay

     Gain a firm acquaintance with the Fantasy Genre and Tolkien's texts in particular

 

Course delivery format:

3 hours of lectures and 1 hour of tutorial

(Timetable and room details can be viewed on Student Services Online)

 Course outcomes:

This paper aims to improve the following skills you will have learnt in other English papers in the Department:

  •      Ability to think critically

         Ability to listen and form sound intellectual judgements

         Acquire sound reading skills

         Improve your skill in writing a coherent and lucid essay

         Gain a firm acquaintance with the Fantasy Genre and Tolkien's texts in particular

 

PRIMARY TEXTS

Any edition of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit is acceptable

J. R. R. Tolkien, Tree and Leaf

A small selection from the Beowulf text will be available under 'Modules'.

And, of course, Peter Jackson's films -- Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Remember, though, this is not a film paper, so attention will be paid primarily to Tolkien's texts..

Tolkien's texts -- available in the bookshop.

  

Assessment Summary:

Weighting of assignments and due dates

                  20%  class test               week 4

                  30% essay                     week 5

                  10% tutorial work

                  40% exam

In this paper, you are not permitted to write more than once on either The Hobbit or Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings.

 

Weekly Topics:

 

                           First lecture is on Friday, 5 February

 

WEEKS

TOPICS

WEEK 1 -   5 Jan                 

Introduction to Fantasy

WEEK 2 -   10 Jan             

Fantasy/Tree and Leaf (primarily, 'On Fairy-Stories')

The Hobbit & Fellowship: From Child Size to Darker Fantasy

WEEK 3 –  17 Jan               

Journey and Romance Quest in HobbitLord of the Rings

Hero and Heroism

 

 

WEEK 4 –  24 Jan

CLASS TEST

ESSAY PLAN CLASS

WEEK 5  –   31 Jan  

Beowulf                (Nicholson)

ESSAY DUE: 2 February, 2017

The Two Towers: Myth Legend and Archetype

WEEK 6 –   7 Feb

 Peter Jackson's adaptation     

 Return of the King: Nostalgia and the Ideal Society

 

       

 

  Recommended Texts:

    See Files

 

 Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Deadlines for coursework are set by course convenors and will be advertised in course material. You should submit your work on time. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you may be required to provide supporting information before the assignment is due. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension may be penalised by loss of marks – check course information for details.

Course summary:

Date Details