As some of you may recall, I posted back in August about the ‘Tolkien as Translator’ course offered at Harvard by Dr. Marc Zender, a Mesoamericanist epigrapher / archaeologist with a research interest in writing systems and culture. Dr. Zender emailed me recently to ask whether I might advertise the re-offering of the course through Harvard’s Extension School, and thus available to a much wider audience, including readers of this blog. I am happy to spread the word! He writes:
Starting January 27th, 2010, I will be offering ANTH E-164 “Tolkien as Translator: Language, Culture and Society in Middle-Earth” through Harvard’s Extension School. On-campus lectures will be held on Wednesday evenings, 5:30-7:30pm EST, but the course will also be videotaped, and the lectures can be accessed by enrolled students from pretty much anywhere with a reasonably fast internet connection. (The first two lectures will actually be available online for free.) An online forum will also allow students to regularly engage with the teaching staff and one another. As before, the focus is squarely on the role of Tolkien’s invented languages in communicating the complex cultures of Middle-earth, but this time I’ve also managed to attract a couple of guest lecturers well-known in Tolkien fandom: Dick Plotz and Bob Foster. These grand gents will visit the class on March 31st and share some of their early work on Tolkien’s invented languages and writing systems, particularly Plotz’ correspondence with Tolkien on the declensions of the Quenya noun.