Matthew Dickerson Guest Lecture

MythgardBadge_90x90The second lecture in the 2015 Mythgard Academy Guest Lecture series is coming up soon! It will be Matthew Dickerson speaking on “Tolkien’s Environmentalism.” You can register here; space is limited, so sign up soon.

The lecture is entitled: “C.S.Lewis, J.R.R.Tolkien, and Wendell Berry: Theological and Philosophical Underpinnings and Imaginative Outworkings of Agrarianism.”

Here is an ABSTRACT: Living and writing in the immediate aftermath of the industrial revolution, it is not surprising that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien would have something to say about industrialization. It should also come as no surprise, especially for careful readers of Lewis, that their thinking on this topic would be integrated with a whole host of other topics in a cohesive narrative and worldview. Still, for two Christian writers living and writing in an era before Rachel Carson, Wendell Berry, or Bill Mckibben, or the famous critique of Lynn White Jr., it may be surprising just how much Tolkien and Lewis thought and wrote about topics like agrarianism as opposed to industrialized agriculture–both the philosophical and theological underpinnings and the practical outworking of healthy ecology—and how much their thinking had in common with more recent writers like Wendell Berry.

Matthew Dickerson is a Professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, associated with the Department of Computer Science, the Program of Environmental Studies, and the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf (which he directs). He has written or co-written several important books on Tolkien and other fantasy literature, including Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien; From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy; Following Gandalf: Epic Battles and Moral Victory in The Lord of the Rings; Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: The Environmental Vision of C. S. Lewis; and A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. shapeimage_4He also writes novels, including a novelization of the “Finn and Hengest” story. In addition to his teaching and writing, he is a musicians, songwriter, and avid fly-fisherman. He lives on a 62-acre wooded hillside parcel of land, where he taps trees, makes his own maple syrup, raises honeybees, keeps a garden without pesticides, and heats his house using wood from his own property.

Register now for Matthew Dickerson’s guest lecture on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, from 5:30 – 7:00 pm (EDT)

About Sørina Higgins

Sørina Higgins is a PhD student in English and Presidential Scholar at Baylor University. She also serves as Chair of the Language and Literature Department at Signum University, online. Her latest publication is an academic essay collection on "The Inklings and King Arthur" (Apocryphile Press, December 2017). Her interests include British Modernism, the Inklings, Arthuriana, theatre, and magic. She holds an M.A. from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Sørina blogs about British poet Charles Williams at The Oddest Inkling, wrote the introduction to a new edition of Williams’s "Taliessin through Logres" (Apocryphile, 2016), and edited Williams’s "The Chapel of the Thorn" (Apocryphile, 2014). As a creative writer, Sørina has published two books of poetry, "The Significance of Swans" (2007) and "Caduceus" (2012).
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2 Responses to Matthew Dickerson Guest Lecture

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    The last sentence sounds not unlike a description of Beorn in The Hobbit! (Do we know if there were sugar maples in Middle-earth in any of the first three Ages?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. M. Joelle says:

    I imagine what I feel about this lecture is what other people feel about professional football games. Excited!


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