Author Archive

Final Update: Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost (I Hope)

By • Aug 25th, 2017 • Category: Honors Thesis, Nationalism, Research

Well, while I now know far more about Middle-earth than is probably healthy (although, not going to lie, Stephen Colbert probably still knows more), I can say that this summer has been productive. I’ve read countless scholarly books and articles, written a heck ton of (hopefully useful) notes, and highlighted the bejeezus out of my…
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July Update: It’s Like the Stepford Wives, but with Child Sacrifice

By • Aug 1st, 2017 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

It’s hard to imagine John Ronald Reuel Tolkien as anything other than a white haired hobbit don, but in John Garth’s book Tolkien and the Great War, I saw another side to Tolkien. To me, Middle Earth has always been a world apart, grounded in real mythologies but something so completely ancient in spirit that…
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June Update: In Which Immortality Isn’t All It’s Cracked up to Be

By • Jun 30th, 2017 • Category: Honors Thesis, Research

Just yesterday I finished Kwame Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, which certainly is a lot more philosophical reading than I am used to, but is fascinating nonetheless. The brief but vivid glimpses Appiah gives of his own eclectic life–visiting the Ashanti king with his intensely patriotic Ghanaian father, eating Ramadan feasts cooked…
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Fantasy and Nationalism: Initial Thoughts and Future Plans

By • Jun 1st, 2017 • Category: Honors Thesis, Nationalism, Research

Many people know of the story of Frodo, a humble hobbit who embarks on a quest, along with a fellowship of representatives of various peoples, to destroy a powerful and dangerous magic ring. Fewer people might be familiar with American Gods, in which Shadow, an ex-convict whose wife dies on the day of his release…
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Myth of a Nation: Fantasy and Nationalism

By • Apr 14th, 2017 • Category: Honors Thesis, Nationalism, Research

In a letter to a publisher in 1956, J.J.R. Tolkien claims that in writing The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion he hoped to create a national mythology for England, rooted in Anglo-Saxon and Norse lore. Even though later in the very same letter Tolkien acknowledges this urge as “absurd,” the sentiment remains important to interpreting his fantasy. While mythopoeia—myth creation—is…
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Abstract: National Myth in Fantasy Literature

By • Mar 31st, 2017 • Category: Honors Thesis, Nationalism, Research

In a letter to a publisher in 1956, J.J.R. Tolkien claims that in writing The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion he hoped to create a national mythology for England, rooted in Anglo-Saxon and Norse lore. Even though later in the very same letter the creator of Middle-Earth acknowledges this urge as “absurd,” the sentiment remains […]

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