Dr. Amy Sturgis, a Belmont University professor of science fiction/fantasy studies, media studies, and Native American studies, will present a very special multimedia talk on J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, on the evening of December 11. Dr. Sturgis teaches a course at Belmont titled J.R.R. Tolkien in History, Political Thought, and Literature. The public is welcome to attend at no charge.

“The link that some draw between childhood and fantasy is, according to J.R.R. Tolkien, an accident of recent history,” says Sturgis, previewing her December 11 presentation at Belmont, titled Tolkien’s Fairy-Stories: A Higher Form of Art. “As a scholar, J.R.R. Tolkien studied the history and purpose of the genre he termed ‘fairy-stories’ and found it to be the best vehicle for communicating serious, adult, even life-changing truths.”

Sturgis’s presentation is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., December 11, in the Multimedia Hall in the Bunch Library on the Belmont campus.

Dr. Sturgis graduated with her B.A. from Belmont University and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in intellectual history from Vanderbilt University. She has written two books and co-authored a third in the field of political history and has presented research in the field of science fiction/fantasy studies before such organizations as the Media Studies Working Group, the International Conference on Medievalism, and the Mythopoeic Society. Her articles have appeared in several journals and magazines. She also regularly teaches summer seminars at various colleges across the United States such as Princeton University and Bryn Mawr College.

She has been named a Scholarly Guest of Honor for The Gathering of the Fellowship event in Toronto, Canada in December 2003. This event, the largest of its kind, will bring together over 1,500 participants from more than twenty nations to celebrate the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Guests include scholars, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and stars of the recent Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings trilogy of films. At The Gathering, Dr. Sturgis will present her talk entitled “Harry Potter is a Hobbit: How J.R.R. Tolkien put the Adult in Children’s Literature,” and she also will participate in the following academic panels: “Teaching Tolkien at the University Level,” “The Lord of the Rings – The Film vs. The Books,” and “The Women in Middle-earth.”