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The Tolkien Professor

By Professor Corey Olsen

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From Sophie Kerr lectures to faculty readings to the immensely popular Tolkien Professor, the Department of English provides a wealth of literary recordings to iTunes U.

Customer Reviews

Excellent podcast, though episodes are out of order

Ditto to everything JKoepke wrote in his previous review. However, note that episodes sharing the same release date (e.g., 7/2/09 for the first four episodes) cannot be relied upon to play in order. I don't know if there's any way to fix this (I'm not sure how the nuts and bolts of podcasting work), but one easy workaround would be to number each episode by renaming them (e.g., "001: How to Read Tolkien and Why") so that listeners would have a field with which to reliably sort episodes into their intended order.

For more complete content (currently 65 episodes instead of 27), use the podcast version rather than the iTunes U version. (Though the podcast version doesn't order the episodes correctly either.)

Best Tolkien podcast I've found thus far

I can't figure out how to describe how incredible this podcast is. I think I've started this review at least four or five times trying to find a way to portray my enthusiasm for it. If you are looking for a podcast that will give a close, academic look at Tolkien's writings, this is the podcast for you. Corey Olsen does an amazing job taking a closer look at J.R.R. Tolkien's literary works with keen insight and full acceptance of Tolkien's Christian worldview. Olsen is not only a fan of Tolkien's works, but a consummate professor who analyzes and critiques all of Tolkien's writings (from the Silmarillion to Farmer Giles of Ham) in a way that I think Tolkien would approve of. This is not to say that Olsen forsakes the soup for the ox bones, but he examines the elements of the soup in order to greater appreciate Tolkien's brilliance.

Best Tolkien podcast and resource out there

By far and away the best Tolkien podcast and resource out there. Prof. Olsen is a fantastic and engaging lecturer, as well as an natural podcaster. If you are a fan of the Lord of the Rings, of fantasy and swords and sorcery, of fairytales, or of literature in general, you should definitely listen. All his podcasts (the class recordings, Skype call-ins, the Hobbit lecture series, discussions with past students and other academics, etc.) are worthwhile and enjoyable. A must listen, and I recommend you check out his website, too.