Tolkien Professor Middle Earth iTunes Hit

Filed in Gather Technology News Channel by on February 9, 2011 0 Comments

A Tolkien professor has successfully brought Middle Earth it iTunes. Corey Olsen once wrote his thoughts on the famous “The Lord of the Rings” author simply for scholarly journals that were only read by his fellow academics. He wanted to bring his information to a wider audience.

In 2007, the Washington College professor began a podcast called “How to Read Tolkien and Why.” He also started a website called The Tolkien Professor. The podcast became a huge hit with over 1 million downloads, and he is now quite popular in the U.S.

Olsen said, “Instead of spending all my time doing scholarly publishing, which we’re told to do – which most people will never read – I basically decided to put myself out to the public.” What a smart and unusual move for the academic. It remains to be seen if this will lead to his ultimate success in academia though, but the unique professor was granted tenure last year, which is unusual given his status of not having published a book. Unfortunately he was not promoted from assistant to associate professor, which denied Olsen a raise.

Interestingly, “The Lord of the Rings” isn’t even considered to be great literature, and Tolkien is not considered to be one of the great fiction writers. However, the book has sold more than 100 million copies, and the movies have earned a billion dollars each, so that says something to the popularity of the subject among the masses. Tolkien has been ruled out of the canon, but perhaps its popularity will cause this to change. Just because it is science fiction doesn’t mean it’s not serious literature.

What do you think? Has the Tolkien professor Corey Olsen invented an entirely new form of scholarly works? One thing is certain. More people have access to the ideas of Olsen than have access to other scholarly writings of other Tolkien authorities.

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