Wednesday, June 27, 2012

English professor discusses J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and Peter Jackson's films

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series presents “Sanctifying Myths: The currency of class, gender, and courage in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings & Peter Jackson’s films”. The presentation and discussion will be led by Donna Bussell, Ph.D., assistant professor of English at UIS.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library

DETAILS: In this talk, Bussell discusses J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as a cultural export. Tolkien’s epic has become an iconic work of fantasy not only for audiences in the U.S. and U.K., but worldwide. Peter Jackson’s recent films have further popularized The Lord of the Rings and re-interpreted his work for modern audiences around the globe. This presentation highlights Tolkien’s understanding of the spiritual and cultural work of mythology and manifestations of courage in major characters such as Frodo, Sam, Arwen and Aragon. It also explores the importance of minor characters whose roles (and lower status) reveal much about the nature of courage in relation to class and gender in this story. Bussell concludes with a few thoughts on how these ideas are (or are not) treated in Jackson’s films, and the implications of these revisions for the transmission of Tolkien’s ideals.

Bussell teaches Arthurian Literature, Chaucer, History of the English Language, and other courses in medieval literature and related topics such as medieval war-craft. Her research and teaching interests include saints’ lives and literary culture, representations of male and female warriors in the middle ages, and the role of women in medieval romance, poetry, and drama.

For a list of other ECCE Speakers Series events and more information, visit All events are free and open to the public. This is the final Speakers Series event for summer 2012.

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