STOP PRESS! Tolkien and Fantasy Online Courses coming up!

I am very excited to announce that from October 2010 I will be teaching online again! University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) have approved two new courses which I will be teaching entirely online from October 2010! The courses are entitled:

  • Fantasy Literature: From Victorian Fairy Tales to Modern Imaginary Worlds
  • J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth and Middle-earth in Context

The courses will be open to students and adult learners all over the world. I will be posting more information about the courses, including contents, set texts, how to enrol, etc after the Easter holidays. Meanwhile, if you are interested in joining a mailing list to receive further information about these courses please click on Contact and leave your e-mail address and the message “online courses mailing list”. I will keep you posted! Happy Easter!

Tolkien, Race and Cultural History on paperback!

This has been such a hectic academic year, but Easter holiday is coming up and I hope to have more time to keep updating the “News” section more regularly! Meanwhile, here are some news from the last few months:

My book, Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits, will be re-issued as a paperback in summer 2010! This paperback edition will make my research much more accessible to students and the general Tolkien readership. The retail price of the original, hardback edition was £50 while the paperback edition will only be a fraction of that cost at £16.99. The paperback is already available to pre-order from Amazon here.

Also, two more reviews of my book have been published in the last few months in the journals:

  • English Today (Cambridge University Press) by Nils-Lennart Johannesson of Stockholm University and
  • Folklore (The Folklore Society) by Jacqueline Simpson of the Folklore Society, whom many fantasy readers will know as the co-author of The Folklore of Discworld together with Terry Pratchett.

Here are a couple of extracts from these reviews:

This book sets out to examine Tolkien’s writings from a historical perspective, setting his ideas in the context of various currents of thought in the Victorian and Edwardian age. The investigation is wide-ranging, and the results illuminating; for much that seems eccentric and personal in Tolkien’s vision can be explained by reference to cultural history…. Until now, Tolkien has generally been studied in isolation, or as the father of modern fantasy-writing, but this book shows how his work was rooted in the mental world of his contemporaries and the immediately preceding generation. As Tolkien scholarship becomes more analytical, Fimi’s study provides essential new insights.

Jacqueline Simpson, Folklore

What Fimi does in this book is approach Tolkien’s oeuvre with a partly different set of keys from those commonly used in Tolkien studies, some of which Tolkien himself did his best to hide in his own comments on his work. The result is a rich study into Tolkien’s creative impulses and the influences that worked on those impulses in the course of a long creative life… [A]ny reader interested in the work of J. R. R. Tolkien… is in for a treat. The book is intelligently argued and full of interesting ideas and approaches, offering fresh insights into Tolkien’s authorship.

Nils-Lennart Johannesson, English Today

  • To see the report on the paperback edition of my book at click here
  • To pre-order the paperback from Amazon click here

UWIC Tolkien and Fantasy Online Courses in the Press and Radio

My two new online courses, which will be taught via UWIC starting in October 2010, have attracted some media attention in the last few days. Yesterday, an one-page article appeared on The Western Mail, and this morning I was interviewed by BBC Radio Wales, alongside the fantasy author Tim Lebbon. Both courses have already attracted huge interest from prospective students all over the world and I am really looking forward to getting started! The Fantasy online course (Fantasy Literature: From Victorian Fairy Tales to Modern Imaginary Worlds) will explore the fascinating world of fantasy literature, from its Victorian roots to its most recent examples, while the Tolkien course (J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth and Middle-earth in Context) will examine J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium, from his much-loved The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, to his extended mythology.

  • To listen to my BBC Radio Wales interview click here
  • To read the article on the Western Mail please click here
  • Click here to find out more about my Tolkien and Fantasy Online Courses at UWIC