Tolkien chat

The Chronicle of Higher Education will host an online chat on the topic of Tolkien scholarship on Thursday, June 3, at 12 noon, U.S. Eastern time.

The work of J.R.R. Tolkien thrives on college campuses — and not just among students watching The Lord of the Rings on DVD. A marginalized but prolific scholarly industry has emerged, devoted to the analysis of Frodo Baggins’s quest as well as other tales of Middle-earth. Is Tolkien’s fiction a commentary on the political realities of the 20th century? An escapist fantasy, providing an alternative to real life? A creative rewriting of the oldest traditions in European literature? All of the above? Is there a line to be drawn between scholarship and fandom?

Questions and comments about the legacy of Tolkien and the world of Tolkien scholarship are welcome. We would prefer, however, that you not submit them in Elvish, Dwarvish, Entish, Orcish, or any other imaginary language.