Tamara sends along word about a Tolkien lecture at Harvard: While my program doesn’t allow for any “outside” classes, I just noticed that they offered an inaugural Tolkien course this spring, with the first lecture available on-line. Here’s the link below, but I may audit this one next year, if it is still around! Commencement is today, so I’m not sure how long this will be available, but I enjoyed two very interesting hours listening/watching! More..

ANTH E-164 Tolkien as Translator: Language, Culture, and Society in Middle-Earth (23228) – Marc Zender, PhD, Lecturer on Anthropology, Harvard University.

As the purported “translation” of ancient records from before the dawn of accepted history, J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings grapples with themes of language and identity rarely encountered in fantasy novels. In this course, students study the role of language in making the cultures and societies of Middle-Earth come alive, and are introduced to concepts from linguistic anthropology that shed light on Tolkien’s methods and purpose.