Kate writes: Barnes and Noble University is having an online Tolkien course: This course provides an overview of The Hobbit and LOTR by JRR Tolkien. We’ll look first at Tolkien’s biography, his writing life, the origins of the stories, and their publication history. We’ll continue with lessons on each book, concentrating on Tolkien’s construction of a mythological world and its peoples and languages, his characters and their development, and his thematic concerns. Finally, we’ll look at Tolkien’s lasting influence on 20th-century fantasy literature, as well as on cultural movements such as neo-paganism and environmentalism. [More]