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MSU CLA 160 - tolkien_syllabus_2009_2pdf

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CLA/ENG!160:!Myth,!Legend,!and!!the!Works!of!J.R.R.!Tolkien!Fall!2009!!"#$%&'%($$&)%##'%*#+,-#./0123 4,1405# John Rauk Office Hours MW 12:00-12:30 F 10:30-12:30 (and by appt.) 214 Old Horticulture Tess Tavormina Office Hours MW 1:00-2:30 (and by appt.) 224 Morrill Hall Course Description This course examines the works of J. R. R. Tolkien in the context of legend, myth and mythmaking from Ancient Greece and Rome through the medieval period, with a special focus on the nature of myth and its relevance in the present day. This is a reading-intensive course. In order to do well, you will need to budget your time appropriately and complete all the readings. We will not take attendance, but if you miss classes your grade will suffer. Aims ! To understand the process of myth-making in European culture through the study of Tolkien’s “created” mythology ! To gain insight into the meanings discoverable through the exercise of imagination that is informed by myth ! To acquire knowledge of seminal myths that inspired Tolkien and the texts that preserve them ! To situate Tolkien’s moral and ethical universe in the context of 20th-century aesthetic, philosophical, and political concerns Texts The Odyssey of Homer, trans. Richmond Lattimore The Tolkien Reader, by J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings: 50th Anniversary, One Vol. Edition, by J.R.R. Tolkien Beowulf trans. Burton Raffel (with afterword by Roberta Frank) The Farthest Shore (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 3), by Ursula K. Le Guin Course-pack (available only at Ned’s Bookstore)#'#Class Format and Policies Students prepare assigned reading for each class. We will introduce class topics and present background for readings in lecture format that encourages student discussion. All work, including the assigned readings, must be completed by the due date. Turn off cell phones in class, and please do not bring any food or beverages into the classroom. No electronic devices of any kind, including cell phones, laptops, and iPods, are allowed to be operating during exams. If you miss an exam due to a university-sponsored activity (e.g., band, debate team), a make-up can be arranged, provided valid documentation is submitted one week in advance. Absences from exams due to sudden illness are excused only if valid documentation (e.g., signed record of doctor visit with phone number) is submitted within three calendar days of the time of the exam. All exams will be multiple-choice. Questions will be based both on reading assignments and lecture materials. Constructive contribution to class discussion may be taken into account for students whose grade falls on a borderline. Students who have already had one or more semesters at MSU and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, or who are in the Honors College, can take an Honors Option for this course Please consult us if you are interested. Grade Two Exams @ 30% 60% Final Exam 40% Grading Scale 100-91 4.0 90-88 3.5 87-82 3.0 81-77 2.5 76-72 2.0 71-67 1.5 66-62 1.0 Schedule Sep 2. Welcome and Introduction to the Course ________________ Sep 7. Labor Day: no class Sep 9. Ideas of Myth and Fantasy: The Tolkien Reader, pp. 31-99,“On Fairy Stories”; Le Guin, “Why Are Americans Afraid of Dragons?” (Course-pack, pp. 106-09) ________________ Sep 14. Odyssey, Books I-VI#6#Sep 16. Odyssey, Books VII-XII ________________ Sep 21. Odyssey, Books XIII-XVIII Sep 23. Odyssey, Books XIX-XXIV ________________ Sep 28. The Tolkien Reader, pp. 121-87, “Farmer Giles of Ham”; The Hobbit, Chapters I-II Sep 30. The Hobbit, Chapters III-VII ______________________________ Oct 5. The Hobbit, Chapters VIII-XII Oct 7. The Hobbit, Chapters XIII-XIX ________________ Oct 12. Exam I Oct 14. Hesiod, Theogony (beginning) (Course-pack, pp. 1-20); The Silmarillion, “Ainulindalë,” “Valaquenta,” “Quenta Silmarillion,” I-IX; ______________________________ Oct 19. The Silmarillion, “Quenta Silmarillion,” X-XXIV Oct 21. The Silmarillion, “Akallabêth,” “Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age”; Poetic Edda and Prose Edda (selections) (Course-pack, pp. 21-79) ______________________________ Oct 26. Beowulf: Introduction, Afterword, and lines 1-1250 Oct 28. Beowulf: lines 1817-3182; Tolkien, “The Monsters and the Critics” (Course-pack, pp. 80-105) ______________________________ Nov 2. Fellowship of the Ring, “Prologue” and Book One, Chapters I-VII Nov 4. Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapters VIII-XII; Book Two, Chapters I-II ______________________________ Nov 9. Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapters III-X Nov 11. The Two Towers, Book Three, Chapters I-XI ______________________________ Nov 16. The Two Towers, Book Four, Chapters I-X#)#Nov 18. Exam II ______________________________ Nov 23. The Return of the King, Book Five, Chapters I-VI Nov 25. The Return of the King, Book Five, Chapters VII-X; Book Six, Chapters I-IV ______________________________ Nov 30. The Return of the King, Book Six, Chapters V-IX Dec 2. The Farthest Shore, “The Rowan Tree”-“Sea Dreams;” Le Guin, “The Critics, the Monsters, and the Fantasists” (Course-pack, pp. 110-18) ______________________________ Dec 7. The Farthest Shore, “Lorbanery”-“The Stone of Pain” Dec 9. Conclusions ______________________________ Final Exam Friday December 18, 10:00-12:00 noon, 206 Old

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