Dec

23

Reactions to the Desolation of Smaug

The Tolkien Professor reacts to “The Desolation of Smaug”, the second movie in Peter Jackson’s increasingly epic adaptation of “The Hobbit”. Parts one and two can be found here, or on iTunes.

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Oct

22

Office Hours 5

After a long absence,  Office Hours with The Tolkien Professor is back! Professor Olsen discusses such diverse topics as the relationship between the Rohirrim and the Anglo-Saxons and the practicality of getting a graduate degree in Tolkien Studies.  You can download Office Hours #6 here, or listen on iTunes.

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Sep

30

Tolkien Chat 14: Bernd Greisinger of the Greisinger Musuem

Bernd Greisinger has opened up his private collection of Tolkien-related literature, art, and collectibles to the public in an immersive, multi-media experience at the Greisinger Museum of Jenins, Switzerland. Mr. Greisinger talks to Professor Olsen about his collection, and his vision for the museum. You can find the files here, or subscribe to The Tolkien Professor on iTunes.

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Jul

21

Tolkien Chat 13:Mythcon 44

Tolkien Chat 13: Mythgard at Mythcon 44

July 12 through 15 saw a swarm of fantasy scholars and fans descend on the Kellogg Conference Center of Michigan State University to participate in the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythcon 44. This year’s theme, “The Green and Growing Land,” spark the imagination of a number of Mythgard Institute students. As a result, seven presentations across the weekend were made by Mythgardians:

  • Laura Lee Smith – “First Contact: Man in the Landscape of Tormance and Perelandra”
  • Ryan Joy – “Mary Shelley’s Creature and Picard’s Humanity”
  • Kris Swank – “Good Plain Food: Diet and Virtue in the Fantasies of Tolkien and Lewis”
  • Trish Lambert – “How the Respective Cosmogonies of Narnia and Middle-earth Affect Grief and Hope in the Environment”
  • Dan Kinney – “The Musical Heart of the Lands of Narnia and Middle-earth”
  • Andrew Higgins – “A Linguistic Exploration through Tolkien’s Earliest Landscapes”

In addition, Professor Verlyn Flieger made a presentation entitled “How Forests Behave-Or Do They” and visiting lecturer Douglas Anderson, who was Scholar Guest of Honor at the event, gave a presentation about fairies in fantasy works of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Mythgard students were limited to the podium. Deborah Sabo and Laura Berkholtz were in the audience, contributing their own thoughts and observations during question and answer sessions.

And there is more! Professor Flieger also won the Inklings Studies prize and accepted it to a standing ovation. Our own Professor Olsen was also a nominee in this category, and though it was a disappointment not to hear his name announced, it was a eucatastrophic consolation to hear Dr. Flieger’s name boom through the speakers. Here’s hoping Dr. Olsen is nominated again next year!

There were so many interesting papers presented that there is no way to write about them all. Instead, a group of Mythgard students got together in the bar of the Kellogg Center and shared thoughts about the presentations they had attended. Captured in a short recording in this Tolkien Chat, it offers some bits and bobs about this year’s Mythcon.

The 2014 Mythcon conference will take place next August at Wheaton College, Norton Massachusetts. Here’s hoping we see even more Mythgardians in attendance…including Dr. Olsen!

Download .mp3 (right click and choose “Save As…” to download)

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Apr

29

Silmarillion Seminar 34

The penultimate session of the Silmarillion Seminar is now available. Silmarillion Seminar 34, “Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers” (aka “The One in Which Lara Speaks”) covers Part 1 of The Rings of Power and the Third Age. Find it here or check out this and all the other Tolkien Professor podcasts on iTunes.

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Apr

16

A Cookbook for Middle-earth!

Food takes center stage in The Hobbit from the outset, with Thorin’s dwarves cleaning out  Bilbo’s larders at the Unexpected Party, and soon, you too will be able to cook like Bilbo, Beorn, and Bombadil!  Chef Heath Dill’s upcoming cookbook, Medium Rare and Back Again:  Food from the World of Middle-earthis now available for pre-order!

A chef and food blogger, as well as good friend of Prof. Olsen, Heath has been catering the Washington College Lord of the Rings movie marathons for several years now, with delectable Tolkien-themed fare.  Want to know what Bilbo’s pork-pies taste like?  Or Lembas bread?  Perhaps you’d like to treat yourself to the honey-cakes of the Beornings, or sample Ent-draught?

Due out this summer, Medium Rare and Back Again will feature over 40 recipes of dishes (plus many variations!) found in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, as well as some whimsical fare (Fiery Balrog Wings, anyone?).  It will also contain a rich history of the food Tolkien loved, and the traditions and techniques used both in pre-war England.  For Tolkien fans and foodies alike, this book is a must!

You can follow Chef Heath Dill at his website, Facebook page, and Twitter feedMedium Rare and Back Again will be published by Oloris Publishing.

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Mar

28

Free on iTunes U: The Lord of the Rings I

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 10.05.26 PMMany of you may remember Mythgard Academy’s Summer 2012 short course on The Fellowship of the RingThe Lord of the Rings I: The Road Goes Ever On.  Well, if you missed out on taking it, we’ve got good news!

Starting today, The Lord of the Rings I is available as a free, enhanced course pack through iTunes U.  You can now download this course to your iPad, iPod touch or iPhone and follow along with each lecture while also reading the passages in Tolkien’s first book of the trilogy and taking notes in the virtual margins.  Even if you don’t have an iOS device, you can download all six lectures in both audio and video format to your PC or Mac through iTunes.

Visit Signum University’s iTunes U site to check out The Road Goes Ever On, our other two courses on The Silmarillion and The Hobbit and catch up with great content from Mythgard, Signum and The Tolkien Professor!

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Mar

19

Silmarillion Seminar 33

This session of the Silmarillion Seminar concludes the Allkalabeth. It’s called “The Castle of Arrrggghhhh”. You’ll have to listen to find out why! Get the download here or on The Tolkien Professor iTunes feed.

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Mar

17

Silmarillion Seminar 32

The decline and fall of Numenor as detailed in the Allkalabeth is discussed at length in Silmarillion Seminar 31:  “Somewhere Beyond the Sea”. Listen here or on iTunes.

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Feb

12

Check out Tolkien Professor, Signum, and Mythgard on iTunes U!

The Tolkien Professor, in conjunction with Signum University, and Mythgard Institute, is excited to announce that courses are now featured on iTunes U! The iTunes U site provides access to all three partners-in-learning — the best of Tolkien Professor, full lectures from Signum and Mythgard, and much more!

Check it out today on iTunes U!

We are also pleased to announce The Hobbit and The Silmarillion courses are available as iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch friendly downloads!

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