Montana State University

Tolkien topic of April 5 Talking Books discussion

March 22, 2005 -- from MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN -Montana State University English professor Gwendolyn Morgan, an expert in all things medieval, will lead a discussion "On Hobbits, Heroes, and Humanity," at the next Talking Books Salon, scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at Borders Bookstore.

Morgan will lead a discussion about how Tolkien's 50-year-old fantasy series helps contemporary audiences understand and deal with current situations and crises, both as a nation and as individuals. Suggested reading for the discussion, which is recommended but not required, includes: "The Hobbit," any part or all of "The Lord of the Rings" ("The Fellowship of the Ring," "The Two Towers," and "The Return of the King"), and "The Silmarillion."

Morgan is an award-winning English professor with interests ranging from medieval ballads to pop culture revisions of medievalism in authors like Anne Rice and J.R.R. Tolkien. Morgan is the author of three books, two on medieval balladry and one collection of Anglo-Saxon poems in translation. She is also the author of a number of articles on immortals in popular fiction. Morgan has taught at MSU for 15 years.

Sponsored by Montana State University's Department of English, the Talking Books salon series features faculty-led discussions about books, genres and authors. Faculty members bring their knowledge and relevant input to the topic while encouraging salon participants to join the conversation with their own ideas and observations.

The Tolkien, as well as other Talking Book Salons, is free and open to all. For more information, contact the MSU Department of English at 994-3768.

Contact: Sarah Alexander (406) 994-4288,