J.R.R. Tolkien and the World of Modern Fantasy Literature

Joseph Luzzi
Joseph Luzzi
Bard College

Joseph Luzzi (PhD, Yale) is Professor of Comparative Literature and Faculty Member in Italian Studies at Bard College, and he taught previously at the University of Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in The New York TimesTLSThe London Times, the GuardianChronicle of Higher Education, and on National Public Radio. Dr. Luzzi’s awards include a Yale College Teaching Prize, Dante Society of America Essay Prize, and Wallace Fellowship at Villa I Tatti, Harvard’s Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. He is the author of five books and recently created The Virtual Book Club: an international community of readers dedicated to exploring major literary works past and present.






September 2, 2022, 4:00 pm

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What makes J. R. R. Tolkien one of the most beloved names in all of literature? Why have readers of all ages, especially younger ones, been so drawn to his magical, enchanted worlds? And how did this Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon become one of the 20th-century’s best-selling authors? We will explore the literary, narrative, and symbolic elements in four of Tolkien’s greatest works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as we discover his breathtaking talent for inventing new worlds – and learn why he is often called the “father” of modern fantasy literature.




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