I can now definitively say that Leslie Donovan’s Approaches to Teaching Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Other Works is available. Back in July, I posted an announcement of the book’s August release, but it’s only this week that I’ve received my copies from the publisher and that I’ve noticed the book is available for order (and not just pre-order) on Amazon websites.
Leslie Donovan has collected a wealth of information that can be used by teachers who want to run a full course on Tolkien’s works or who want to incorporate a study of his works into various kinds of college and university courses.
In “Part One: Materials,” Leslie describes editions of Tolkien’s works, multimedia aids for teaching, and the standard scholarly and reference works useful for the study of Tolkien. In identifying these resources, she draws on her years of experience as a Tolkien scholar and teacher, but she also had additional input in 83 survey responses received from Tolkien teachers (Preface xi). You can click on the images below to read the full table of contents.
“Part Two: Approaches” consists of 29 essays describing ways of teaching Tolkien — at different levels; in large classes and small; in English departments and others; from a medieval or a postmodern perspective — I have yet to sample all of them. The contents of Part Two are divided into the following sections: Teaching the Controversies, Tolkien’s Other Works as Background, Connections to the Past, Modern and Contemporary Perspectives, Interdisciplinary Contexts, and Classroom Contexts and Strategies for Teaching. My own article is on “Tolkien in the First-Year Literature Survey Course” and is based on my teaching of English 1171 here at Mount Saint Vincent University.
To supplement all of this information, you can also check out the resources posted in the new journal Waymeet for Tolkien Teachers, where some of the essay-writers have posted their course materials.
Click on the thumbnails below to read the full table of contents.