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Faculty Essays on "Lord of the Rings"

LOTR bookset

Barrie Osborne's visit to Carleton inspired a faculty writing project based on experiences of his "Lord of the Rings" films and the classic Tolkien books. Organized by Mary Savina, Coordinator of the Perlman Center for Teaching and Learning, a group of faculty--chemists and classicists, physicists and psychologists--gathered on a March morning before finals to talk with one another about their personal responses to the epic as filmed and/or as written. Some knew the books inside out, some had seen the films without prior exposure to the story. At the end of the discussion, all dispersed to generate short (500 word) meditations for the Film Colloquium web site. Everyone had far more to say than could be contained in 500 words, but economy and clarity won the day, as the resulting brief essays demonstrate.


  • Carol Rutz

    "I settled into a world that I did not want to leave."
  • Kris Wedding

    "What if Hobbits did not have hills into which they could dig their cozy holes?"
  • Mark Kanazawa

    "Tolkien himself once insisted that fairy tales had to have happy endings, or they could not be considered fairy tales."
  • Sarah Deel

    "I love being immersed in the historically, environmentally, culturally rich world of Tolkien’s creation."
  • Will Hollingsworth

    "One of my favorite ways to read the trilogy is to focus on the forces of evil as charting a path that is against the natural world."
  • Mija Van Der Wege

    "OK. I admit it. I saw The Fellowship of the Ring four times on the big screen."
  • Chico Zimmerman

    "The dead usually have something that a living hero needs."