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Virtual Date With History

J.R.R. Tolkien and the World Wars

Thursday, October 7
7:00 PM CDT Online via Zoom
Free Event but Registration Required

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One of the reasons J.R.R. Tolkien is such a popular author is that he can be read at many levels. For the reader willing to look deeper than the adventure-story surface, there are many important themes in his works. War is one of the themes that runs through all of Tolkien’s books, especially The Lord of the Rings. Particular motifs appear over and over again: the effects of war on individuals, families, and society, whether war can ever be justified, and if so, the proper conduct of war; close friendships among groups of men; the glory and horror of battle. The depiction of war and its effects were drawn from his own life; he served in the First World War at the Battle of the Somme, and two of his sons fought in the Second World War. Like all artists, he absorbed the materials of his own life into his art. This talk will explore his personal experience of war and how it manifested in his legendarium.

MEET THE SPEAKER: Janet Brennan Croft is a librarian at the University of Northern Iowa. She is the author of War in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien (Praeger, 2004; winner, Mythopoeic Society Award for Inklings Studies). She has also written on Terry Pratchett, Lois McMaster Bujold, Joss Whedon, and other authors, TV shows, and movies, and is editor or co-editor of many collections of literary essays, the most recent being ‘Something Has Gone Crack’: New Perspectives on Tolkien in the Great War (Walking Tree, 2019). She edits the refereed scholarly journal Mythlore.

Are you a teacher?

Illinois teachers can earn 1.5 PD credits for watching the presentation and filling out a short PD activity.

Step 1: Register for the webinar above.

Step 2: Register to be on the teacher list for the PD activity and ISBE forms.

  This program includes built-in closed captioning through Zoom.