For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Jul 31 2017
by Zoe Forest

7 Colleges Where You Can Take a Class on The Lord of the Rings

By Zoe Forest - Jul 31 2017

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the greatest examples of an epic high-fantasy novel full of rich characters and master world-building. This not only makes it a highly enjoyable read, but a novel well worth studying in college. These colleges have picked up on the great knowledge to be gained from The Lord of the Rings by offering classes in the popular fantasy novel.

1. The Moral and Political Ideas of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings 

Head to Loyola University Maryland to study morality and politics in The Lord of the Rings. In addition to reading the books and studying the films, students will look at philosophical papers on subjects such as friendship, liberty, rebellion and moral failure. 

2. Elvish, the Language of The Lord of the Rings

If you love Legolas, you should seriously consider the University of Wisconsin where Tolkien scholar and linguist David Salo teaches a course on elvish, the language that Tolkien, himself a master linguist, created for Middle Earth.

3. Tolkien's Nordic Sources and The Lord of the Rings

For students majoring in German and Slavic languages at the University of Colorado, this is definitely a course to check out. As the title suggests, students will read and learn about the Nordic folk tradition and analyze how it impacted Tolkien in writing The Lord of the Rings.

4. The Created Medieval History of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth

At the University of Victoria, students will treat The Lord of the Rings (and other Tolkien novels featuring Middle Earth such as The Silmarillion) as a historical narrative. Tolkien was a master of world-building and there is a lot to explore in the social and political history of the Middle Earth.

5. The Lord of the Rings: A Journey Through Middle Earth

The University of Toronto offers a freshman seminar in The Lord of the Rings. This seminar is a comprehensive overview of The Lord of the Rings that will explore the characters, history, languages, politics and more in Middle Earth. It also examines themes such as good and evil and higher powers in Middle Earth.

6. Themes in Film Music: The Lord of the Rings

If you loved the film adaptions of The Lord of the Rings, take this class offered at the University of the Ozarks. It examines the composers behind the film music for The Lord of the Rings and film music in general. 

7. Tolkien's World of Middle-Earth

Love The Lord of the Rings but don't attend any of the universities above? No problem! At Signum University, you can apply to take this class for credit or as an auditor. Signum University is an online learning facility created by professor and Tolkien-scholar Corey Olsen and offers several college-level classes on Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings and other areas of fantasy. 

The Lord of the Rings touches many areas of study beyond just literature. It is a study in politics, history, morality and linguists. It is a novel well-worth reading and studying, whether in the classroom or outside. 

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Zoe Forest - University of California, Berkeley

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