History course in the news!

There is more to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth than the movies. It's all set to begin again with the release next month of the first installment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy and, less than three weeks later, the University of Victoria will launch a new third-year course (History 380A - "The Created Medieval History of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth") on Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's world. Historian Dr. Tim Haskett will delve deeply into Tolkien’s full body of work, much more than Jackson had on hand when crafting his screen adaptations.

Haskett, a history professor and medievalist who has taught at UVic for 23 years, says the new course will be “radically unlike anything I’ve done before.” He will take his class of 200 undergraduate students through the history created by the English writer and Oxford professor—from the creation of the World to the War of the Ring—based on what Tolkien knew as a medieval scholar. “I want to take students through the deep and complex world of Middle-earth. We will approach Tolkien’s writings as a coherent historical record. This world is a creation, to be sure, but it has to be understood as a real history if it is to make sense.”

Haskett will be in the ticket line up when the first new film hits screens next month, and he adds, “If Jackson needs another screenwriter, I’m available.”

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