Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

J.R.R. Tolkien's revolutionary depictions of nature have inspired many to respect and cherish the environment. However, if we journeyed back two hundred years, we would discover that radical British Romantic authors were also challenging how readers perceived their surroundings! In this module, we will use ecology to explore the many parallels and contrasts between Tolkien's Arda and the Romantic's portrayals of nature big and small: mountains and meadows, woods and wildernesses, daffodils and dead marshes. This will include examining how characters react to the environment, nature's existence as separate from our own, and the broader concern of the Industrial Revolution's destructive potential.

The module sessions are structured as follows:
1: Visions of Nature
2: Nature Supreme and Sublime
3: Nature’s Simple Beauty
4: Seasons and Weather
5: The Shape of Water
6: I want to see mountains!
7: My Little Pony and Other Animals
8: Nature without Humanity

Required Texts

No secondary material will be required. Copies of Tolkien's texts are expected (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings). Copies of Romantic texts will be provided for free via Project Gutenberg.
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Days and Times

Meeting Tuesdays & Fridays at 1:00 PM Eastern for 1-hour sessions on September 5, 12, 15, 19, a 90-minute session on September 22, 1-hour on September 26, and 90 minutes on September 29.

​The topics will fall out in this manner:
5th - 1h - Visions
12th - 1h - Sublime
15th - 1h - Beauty
19th - 1h - Water
22nd - 90m - Mountains
26th - 1h - Animals
29th - 90m - Humanity

If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].