English 345/545:
J.R.R. Tolkien

Crucial Info for Fall 2019:

Supervisor: Dr. Loren R. Schmidt

Course Facilitator (your primary instructor and grader): Prof. Ramon Guel

Prof. Guel Telephone: (503) 779-7346

Dr. Schmidt Telephone: (509) 865-8542 or Ext. 2112 (Work); (509) 574-8486 (Home); (509) 307-0104 (Cell)

Prof. Guel Email: guel_r@heritage.edu

Dr. Schmidt Email: schmidt_l@heritage.edu or loren@llschmidt.net

Dr. Schmidt's Office: 2112 Simkins, Heritage University, 3240 Fort Rd., Toppenish, WA 98948

Prof. Guel's Virtual Office Hours on Elluminate: TBA

Dr. Schmidt's Virtual Office Hours on Elluminate: W 6-8 pm PDT/PST, F 130-3 pm PDT/PST, or by appointment

Dr. Schmidt's Physical Office Hours (available by phone): F 130-3 pm PDT/PST or TBA or by appointment

Time and Place:

Via Internet: THIS IS A SELF-PACED COURSE WITH SUPPORT FROM PROF. GUEL AND DR. SCHMIDT. Class Forums on Heritage University Virtual Campus (AKA MyHeritage) with Prof. Guel's Discussion Sessions on Elluminate.

1. Class for online students will meet via Internet on Heritage University Virtual Campus (AKA MyHeritage). Class will have weekly sessions available via Elluminate on TBA. Prof. Guel will discuss the reading materials and answer questions. Dr. Schmidt will have weekly office hours where you may drop in with questions. SOME SESSIONS WILL BE RECORDED FOR LATER PLAYBACK, BUT NOT NECESSARILY ALL.

2. Online students MUST use a headset when attending Elluminate sessions IF they desire to speak instead of typing questions. Cheap headsets work just fine; webcam not required.

3. MyHeritage CODES AVAILABLE! Check OCICU registration letter or contact instructor or your local HU Administrative Assistant!

Texts (All Available in CHEAP Editions from Amazon!! The one-volume LOTR costs about $11 and you can get a boxed set including The Tolkien Reader AND The Silmarillion plus two OTHER books for $20!):

J.R.R. Tolkien. The Annotated Hobbit. Ed. May substitute any version of The Hobbit if you already have one. UG STUDENTS TAKING THE COURSE FOR ONLY TWO CREDITS NEED OBTAIN ONLY THE HOBBIT AND LOTR.

-----. The Lord of the Rings. May substitute any version of LOTR if you already have one. UG STUDENTS TAKING THE COURSE FOR ONLY ONE CREDIT NEED OBTAIN ONLY LOTR!

-----. The Silmarillion. May substitute any version of The Silmarillion if you already have one.

-----. The Tolkien Reader. May substitute any text containing the essay "On Fairy Stories."

Course Description and Objectives:

While Americans have had a love/hate relationship with speculative fiction (SF), including fantasy and science fiction, often relegating it to the pop fiction ghetto, across the Atlantic the view has been different. Orwell, Burgess, Wells, Lewis, M. Shelley, and others have been viewed as major mainstream writers. Significantly, British readers and critics voted The Lord of the Rings as the most important novel of the 20th century. Now, one can of course argue about its literary merits (see: Reader Response and Reception theories), but one cannot underestimate its impact on both its own genre and related ones, including cinematic genres. In this course, we will examine some of Tolkien's major works, taking a look at the biographical, historical, social, and genre underpinnings as well as the views taken by other critical approaches, and then consider the difference between it and the filmed version of his most important novel, The Lord of the Rings, using that comparison as a way of looking at the differences between literature and film.

Given the assumptions stated above, students may expect that they will be called on to read extensively, to discuss those readings in class, and to write regularly concerning the readings and discussions. All of these elements will be factored into the course evaluation system.

In general, the course has these objectives for students to pursue:

(1) Become acquainted with the current approaches to one of the 20th century's major writers
(2) Examine the differences between film and literature as genres
(3) Explore historical and contemporary methods for analyzing literature
(4) Improve analytic writing skills
(5) Practice presentation/teaching skills

Visit These Pages Now!

Making the Grade: Elements of Evaluation


Course Policies

Tolkien Forums (Informational--Actual Forums on MyHeritage)

© Dr. Loren R. Schmidt, 1999-2019
No part of this syllabus may be used or reproduced
in any manner whatsoever without written permission.