I’ve mentioned his site before but I wanted to post a quick update as he’s roughly half-way through this semester’s course on Tolkien literature.  As a re-cap, Dr. Corey Olsen has been releasing many of his Tolkien lectures via mp3 and iTunes for a while now and this semester decided to record and post his entire class focused on Tolkien’s works!

I’ve been listening to most of it, although I have put off some of the lessons which cover material I have not read.  “Leaf by Niggle” and “Smith of Wootton Major” are the pieces I haven’t touched yet, and I’ve attempted the Silmarillion a couple of times but haven’t gotten that far in it.  The class is just about done the Silmarillion and will then be progressing through the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  With 3 classes a week they cover a TON of material but it is really interesting to listen to the discussions from another perspective.  Each class is about 50ish minutes so nothing terribly long at all.  I find the discussion about the Silmarillion quite helpful as I’ve always struggled with that one and having someone talk me through it makes a huge difference.  I’m going to make another attempt and will probably re-listen to those classes as I go.  I’m very excited to dive into the upcoming material as not only have I just finished re-reading those books but that material is very fresh in my mind from LOTRO.

So if you are a fan of the lore, want to learn more, struggle with the books, are in the middle of re-reading them, or just can’t get enough of Tolkien 🙂 I highly recommend the podcast!  Go check out the site or go straight to the syllabus for the on-going Tolkien class for all the download information.

In addition to the podcasts you can also find information on the Festival in the Shire which is a collection of authors, musicians, scholars, and artists celebrating the works of Tolkien over in the UK.  I doubt I’ll make it, but I know some of my readers are in that general area of the world so it would be worth checking out if you live near there or are planning a visit.