Dr. Marc Zender, Research Associate, Peabody Museum, Lecturer on Anthropology, Harvard University contacted me to let me know he has a second class on J.R.R. Tolkien that starts up in January. I wrote about his first Harvard Tolkien class in May of this year. Here is what Dr. Zender sent me:
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. 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 I’m sure you’ve heard about: 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 languages, correspondence and meeting with Tolkien, etc. …
In case you folks have not heard about Dick Plotz and (Robert) Bob Foster, I HAVE. Holy mackeral! I thought these guys were dead (sorry Dick and Bob — I really did).
Robert Foster wrote The Complete Guide To Middle-earth. Dick Plotz was heavily involved in Tolkien fandom and research in the 1960s and 1970s — a time when Tolkien research was not taken seriously.
Here are some links for interested people:
Website: Tolkien as Translator: Language, Culture and Society in Middle-Earth
I saw Dr. Zender on television last night, by the way. He was one of the experts they used for an episode of Lost Worlds called “Indiana Jones and the Ultimate Quest”. Seems like a pretty cool guy.