For those interested in interviewing Professor Olsen, please use the Contact page. Below are some of his past interviews.

You Don’t Know J.R.R.: A Real Tolkien Expert on Everything You Need to Know About ‘The Hobbit’

Fast Company: Co.Create

December 16, 2012 – Dr. Corey Olsen, expert on all things J.R.R. Olsen is a professor of Medieval Studies and author of Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, published earlier this year by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He’s the host of a popular podcast, The Tolkien Professor, and last year, he started the Mythgard Institute, an online educational community that offers college-level courses in science fiction and fantasy literature. I spoke to him at length and I assure you: he’s legit. And since Olsen isn’t terribly worried about Jackson’s three-part Hobbit, it means the rest of us can relax.

How ‘Hobbit’ movie can teach important values to children

Deseret News

December 14, 2012 – “‘The Hobbit’ story is really about home and identity,” said Olsen, the author of Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ who also hosts The Tolkien Professor podcast and teaches English at Washington College in Maryland. “One question you want to kind of think of in terms of discussion points for kids to have at the film: ‘Who are you? What is your identity, where do you belong and what matters to you?’ Bilbo discovers all that.”

Tolkien’s ‘Hobbit’ has everlasting power

Miami Herald

November 18, 2012 – J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit has been in print for 75 years, sold more 100 million copies and been translated into more than 50 languages. The seminal work has everything one would desire in a fantasy — an avaricious dragon, a sagacious wizard, dwarves, elves, goblins, magic swords, a magic ring and, naturally, a hobbit.

Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”

Radio New Zealand

October 28, 2012 – Author Corey Olsen is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington College in Maryland. His new book reveals secrets and insights into ‘The Hobbit’, which he hopes everyone will fall in love with again when the new movie arrives.

Listen to the .mp3 recording!</>

The Tolkien Professor, Corey Olsen

ABC Radio in Perth, Australia

October 26, 2012 – On the 75th anniversary of the release of the classic fantasy book, “The Hobbit,” Leonie Harris talks to Professor Corey Olsen on his new book, “Exploring JRR Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit'”. Professor Olsen talks us through Tolkein’s master story-telling and the magic it has cast over children, adults and film directors for 75 years.

A Reminder To Tolkien Fans Of Their First Love


October 21, 2012 – “The Hobbit’s” always kind of existed in the shadow of Tolkien’s other great work, “The Lord of the Rings”. Corey Olsen, self-described “Tolkien professor,” tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, that Tolkien fans tend to fall in love with “The Hobbit” as children, then move on to “The Lord of the Rings” and never come back. That’s a great shame, Olsen says, so he’s written his own book, “Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit”.

Click through to hear the interview or you can read the interview transcript here.

Well, he’s home

The Cabinet

October 18, 2012 – “What makes the books so powerful is what an incredible job Tolkien does building the world that he created,” said Olsen. “There are lots of books that tell interesting stories or create characters that you’re interested in, but there are many fewer works that create a world that you really care about and need to invest in. I think that’s one of the things that makes them so powerful – they draw people in in such a complete way. They’re compelling and deeply satisfying.”

Why J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ Isn’t Just For Kids, an anniversary review by Corey Olsen

The Wall Street Journal

September 21, 2012 – “The Hobbit” is a brilliantly constructed story unfolding themes that adult readers will still find compellingly relevant to the modern world: themes such as the nature of evil and the significance of human choice, or the corruptive power of greed and the ease with which good people can be drawn into destructive conflict. So this year, I would recommend celebrating “The Hobbit’s” 75th anniversary by dusting the book off and giving it a fresh read. I’m quite sure that if you do, you will discover much more than you remember finding there as a child.

WAMC Roundtable with Joe Donahue

NPR Northeast

September 21, 2012 – No need to wait for Peter Jackson and his movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to arrive on Dec. 14: Middle-earth mania has already hit bookstores. Today marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s immortal tale about the great adventure of furry-footed Bilbo Baggins.

WYPR Midday with Dan Rodricks

NPR Baltimore

September 20, 2012 – On the eve of the 75th anniversary of the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and with the highly-anticipated December release of Peter Jackson’s film based on the novel, Washington College English professor Corey Olsen considers the original text and why the tale has endured and appeals to so many people.

Tolkien’s ‘Hobbit’ celebrates 75th anniversary

USA Today

September 20, 2012 – The Hobbit has enchanted readers for 75 years for several reasons, says Olsen. Besides the novel’s great characters and plot, Tolkien created “this entire world you care about, that you want to explore.” Olsen also points out that even fans who love the book don’t take it seriously enough. “I invite people to reread it and see all the brilliant things,” he says. While Tolkien wrote The Hobbit as a children’s book, Olsen notes it can be read on an adult level as an exploration of evil and the conflict between fate and free will.

Corey Olsen to unveil companion to Tolkien’s classic at Acorn Books

Delaware State News

September 11, 2012 – When Dover resident Corey Olsen was 8-years-old, he read “The Hobbit” for the first time. It’s been 30 years since then. And Mr. Olsen has read “The Hobbit” every year. At least. Then he wrote a book about it….

Why Peter Jackson Really Wants Three Hobbit Movies – And You Do Too

E! Online

August 5, 2012 – “It’s totally natural to be skeptical,” says Corey Olsen, who teaches J.R.R. Tolkien and medieval literature at Washington College in Maryland. “But what people have to realize is that Tolkien did a lot more work on this tale in the decades that followed” the original novel release….

Podcast Squared Panel #6 – Education in Podcasting

Podcast Squared

August 4, 2012 – This is a really fascinating discussion about podcasts as educational tools despite the fact that it sounds like the most boring thing in the world. The guests for this month’s panel are both returning guests to Podcast Squared….

‘The Hobbit’ Movies to Be Split Into 3, Echoing ‘Harry Potter’

Huffington Post

August 2, 2012 – Take Corey Olsen, author of the forthcoming book “Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.” He’s been defending Jackson’s decision to make “The Hobbit” into two movies for months. “The thing that people don’t realize or think about is that there’s much more material than just the pages of ‘The Hobbit,'” Olsen told the Huffington Post….

Down the Hobbit Hole: Finding Connection in Online Learning


July 27, 2012 – It turned out that I had seriously underestimated the number of very enthusiastic Tolkien fans out there who might be interested in what I might have to say, because in less than a year, I had a million downloads on my podcast. Now, that’s not the big deal: You see, what happened during this process, this is when I made my Big Discovery…I discovered that the Internet is not just a good tool for publishing my material. You can also use the Internet as a tool to connect with people. Who knew?

The Dork Forest, Episode 117 – TolkienProf – Corey Olsen

The Dork Forest

May 22, 2012 – Corey Olsen is The Tolkien Professor. I grill him about Tolkien and then I Iet him talk about more modern fiction… so it’s all books all the time. His book Exploring the Hobbit is available for pre-order. I am excitable and on-freaking board. Listen and enjoy.

Speaking of Wealth 49 – Expanding the Academic Conversation Through Podcasting with Corey Olsen

Speaking of Wealth

April 23, 2012 – Jason Hartman interviews Professor Corey Olsen, President of Mythgard Institute, about how podcasting has allowed him to reach a wider audience than lectures or articles would reach….

‘Tolkien Professor’ Corey Olsen brings Middle-earth to iTunes via podcasts

Washington Post

02.11.2011 – Corey Olsen had a lot to say about J.R.R. Tolkien. But it seemed a pity to consign his thoughts to a scholarly journal, to be read by a few hundred fellow academics who already knew more than enough about the author of “The Lord of the Rings.”

Is Peter Jackson Screwing Up The Hobbit?

E! Online

January 11, 2011 – […] But according to Corey Olsen, who teaches J.R.R. Tolkien and medieval literature at Washington College in Maryland, all three of those characters are, actually, very much a part of The Hobbit story. Proof? You got it.

Clash of the Gods: Tolkien’s Monsters

The History Channel

October 5, 2009 – Tolkien was deeply concerned from his early childhood about the process of industrialization, in large part because he saw it as a reflection of human corruption. That is, the urge to industrialize is, in his mind, inextricably connected with this impulse to dominate, and to Tolkien it’s the same will to dominate whether you’re dominating people or whether you’re dominating trees and plants.