Tolkien and Fantasy Online Courses at UWIC to Run Again in May!

The two online courses I run at UWIC last autumn will run again in May, starting on Monday 23rd May 2011. Enrolment is now open!

Fantasy Literature: Tales Before and After Tolkien (Year 3 undergraduate level) will examine the origins and development of fantasy literature from the 19th to the 21st century, exploring key texts such as Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea cycle, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth and Middle-earth in Context (MA level) will explore in detail the mythology, medieval inspirations, linguistic invention and cultural context of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy work.

For more information on both online courses visit this page, and see here for Frequently Asked Questions.
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Also, today I gave a short interview on BBC Radio Wales for the Jamie and Louise show, commenting on Fantasy Literature. The occasion was the Royal Mail’s issuing a series of Magical Realms stamps with characters from British Fantasy books. You can listen to this interview here (see also under ‘Media’).

Tom Shippey Lecture at UWIC – all welcome!

I am delighted to announce that the School of Education at UWIC will be hosting an Open Lecture by Tom Shippey entitled: “Writing into the Gap: Tolkien’s The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrún on Wednesday, 23rd March 20011, at 7pm, in Lecture Theatre 4 at our Cyncoed Campus, Cardiff.

Professor Tom Shippey really needs no introduction to any Tolkien student. He is one of the most respected scholars internationally on medieval studies, and his work marked the beginning of serious academic study of J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings. His career followed in the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien as he taught at Oxford University at St. John’s College for seven years, overlapping with Tolkien’s last years of retirement, and then he was appointed Professor of English Language at the University of Leeds, where he inherited Tolkien’s chair and syllabus. He is the author of two of the most quoted books in Tolkien studies: The Road to Middle-earth and J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. It is a great honour to have him lecture at UWIC on the most recent Tolkien book published (for more information on The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrún see brief presentation and videos below – scroll down to 15th May 2009). I am personally very much looking forward to this lecture!

This is an Open Lecture and admission is free, but due to the popularity of the speaker we have asked all who plan to attend to e-mail UWIC at and reserve a seat. You can find more information on this lecture here.