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English: Race&Gender:JRRT Middle-earth

ENGS 040 OL1 (CRN: 61744)

3 Credit Hours

For crosslists see: GSWS 095 OL1 CRES 095 OL7

About ENGS 040 OL1

Topics in Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature. Subjects vary by semester. Representative topics: Tolkien's Middle Earth; The Hobbit; Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy. May be repeated for credit with different content. Topics vary by offering; periodic offering at intervals that may exceed four years.


Related Program

High School & Pre-College Programs


Dates: May 24 - June 18, 2021; Cross listed with GSWS 095 OL1 & CRES 095 OL7; Total overall cross listed cap enrollment is 40

More Information

Section Description

J. R. R. Tolkien was born in South Africa to British parents. His family moved back to England before he was four, though his father stayed behind. Tolkien was a child of the Victorian British Empire, but was also orphaned by the time he was twelve years old. He was a Catholic in a largely Protestant country, and later a historical philologist in a more modern-leaning college. Tolkien understood marginalization and feelings of difference. And he was very sympathetic to this. In his work we clearly see his sympathies towards women’s challenges and towards the plight of indigenous peoples. That said, Tolkien could not step completely outside of the systemic problems of his culture. At times he falls back on culturally recognized tropes and images that certainly do not dismantle racial sterotypes. This course explores the issues of race, sexuality, and gender in the mythological legendarium of J.R.R. Tolkien. We’ll examine the effects of gender on male and female characters, examining the types of femininity and masculinity portrayed. We’ll examine the role of race, issues around Whiteness and ethnicity. THIS IS A BLACKBOARD ASYNCHRONOUS DISCUSSION BOARD COURSE. We will meet via Teams ONLY twice.

Section Expectation

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings Tolkien and Alterity [Vaccaro, Palgrave, paperback $30; 331986985] Perilous and Fair [Croft, Mythopoeic Press, paperback $20; 1887726012] Tolkien, Race, and Cultural History [Fimi, Palgrave, paperback $34; 0230272843]


Two 10-page papers 50% [Evaluated based on ideas, organization, support, style, grammar. MLA Style. See Video Assignment [ 5 minutes] 10% Posting assignments/discussion participation: 40%




Online (View Campus Map)

Important Dates

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