J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth and Middle-earth in Context 

Course Length: 12 weeks (including a reading week & essay writing week) 

Entry Requirements: None

Course Content: 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 adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.

Course Objectives:
• To examine the work of J.R.R. Tolkien as one of the main authors of the fantasy literature genre
• To examine the creative uses of Tolkien’s sources in medieval and renaissance literature, myth and folklore, and Victorian and Edwardian literature
• To explore how Tolkien’s work responds to contemporary cultural changes and intellectual and social developments
• To explore major themes and continuities in Tolkien’s work
• To investigate recent critical and theoretical approaches to Tolkien’s work
• To re-evaluate Tolkien’s position in the literary canon
• To examine Tolkien’s influence in modern popular culture

Academic Credit: 20 credits at Masters Level

Course aimed at: Postgraduate students and adult learners interested in fantasy literature

Programme Leader:
Dr Dimitra Fimi

Cost: £420

Additional Information: This is an online course, delivered through Cardiff Met's virtual learning environment.

Additional courses of interest: Fantasy Literature: Tales Before and After Tolkien


Enrolment and payment information can be found on the Tolkien and Fantasy home page.