The courses will be delivered through Cardiff Metropolitan University‘s virtual learning environment, and will cost £450 each.
Dr Dimitra Fimi, who is the author of Tolkien, Race and Cultural History, recently appeared on a BBC iWonder video about Tolkien and the Great War with John-Rhys Davies. She has offered similar online courses in the past.
Fantasy Literature: Tales Before and After Tolkien
Starts September 2014
This course is aimed at undergraduates and adult learners. It is worth 20 credits at Year 3 undergraduate level.
This course will explore the fascinating world of fantasy literature, from its Victorian roots to its most recent examples. We will start with Victorian and Edwardian fantasists (William Morris, George MacDonald, and the mythology of childhood developed by Charles Kingsley and J.M. Barrie), explore the enormous impact on fantasy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; evaluate Tolkien’s legacy (C.S. Lewis Narnia books, and Terry Brooks and Stephen Donaldson’s work); look at the best works of American fantasy (including Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz and Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea series) and debate whether science fantasy exists as a sub-genre by looking at Frank Herbert’s Dune, and the Star Wars (extended) mythology. We will end with looking at fantasy in contemporary popular culture, focusing on TV fantasy and its powerful female heroines (including the mythology of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and some discussion of the future of fantasy as a literary and popular culture genre.
J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth and Middle-earth in Context
Starts January 2015
This course is aimed at postgraduate students and adult learners. It is worth 20 credits at Master’s level.
This course will examine the J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium, from his much-loved The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, to his extended mythology most commonly known from the published Silmarillion. We will explore Tolkien’s early project for a “mythology for England” and trace his inspiration and creative re-working of myth and folklore (including Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, Celtic, Arthurian and Classical material) and the literary tradition (from Shakespeare to Victorian and Edwardian literature). We will look at Tolkien’s invented languages and alphabets as an integral part of his mythology; discuss Tolkien’s portrayal of the “races” and cultures of Middle-earth, and end with a consideration of Tolkien’s continuing influence on popular culture, including Peter Jackson’s film adaptations.