Senior Seminar: Tolkien/Lewis
Description: This course is designed to be an intensive study in the works and literary thought of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
During the first semester we will read Tolkien’s fiction works and also what he wrote about fantasy literature (what he also called ‘mythopoeia’) in order to understand what he thought about the art of writing fantasy. What is valuable about this kind of literature? What makes for a good fantasy? How should it be read? These and other questions will be the subject of our course through class discussions, brief lectures, and assignments outside of class.
The second semester is designed to be an intensive study in the works and literary thought of C.S Lewis. We will learn how he came to answer important questions about fiction literature: Why read it? Why should it be written? How should it be read and evaluated? What does Christianity have to do with it? To discover his answers, we will read and discuss some of his fiction and non-fiction works, and students will be given the opportunity to understand his ideas, evaluate them, and put them into practice.
Grade Level: 11-12 (ages 16-18)
Prerequisites: Students should be strong readers and able to read at a high level. They should also be proficient with English grammar, able to write grammatically complete sentences, and be able to edit their work.
First Semester Texts: The Hobbit (Houghton-Mifflin, 2007), The Lord of the Rings, 50th Anniversary 1 Vol. Edition (Mariner Books, 2005), Tree and Leaf (HarperCollins, 2001), The Silmarillion, 2nd Edition (Houghton-Mifflin, 2004).
Students will need a USB headset microphone (built-in microphones also work).