Evil in the Hobbit: Conference Paper

Hello Friends,

 I know it has been a long time since I last updated the blog. I haven’t forgotten about it. I’ve just been working hard on other things. A couple of weeks back I had the privilege to read a paper I wrote on the Hobbit by Tolkien at a conference, in honor of the movie release, at the University of Valparaiso.  No there were no participants roaming the lands dressed as elves, orc, or hobbits.  This was primarily an academic conference and less of a fan conference.  However, there were a number of Tolkien fans at the conference: librarians, house wives, teachers, pastors, etc.

The conference itself was enjoyable.  There a number of tolkien scholars present who sat and listened the papers being presented (Douglas A. Anderson, John D, Rateliff, and Verlyn Flieger.)  A Lord of the Rings symphony was performed as well.

I’m currently experimenting with using audio lectures for next school year where the student listen to the lecture at home then we read a primary source in class.  In the educational world this is know as a flipped classroom.  Because of my experimentation, I decided to record the paper I read at the conference and upload it to the blog for others who may be interested.

I will say that the initial paper was 26 pages in length.  This was far too long for the time I was allotted (20 mins).  Therefore I cut, cut, and cut some more until I was in the neighborhood of 8-10 pages double spaced.  As a result, I had to remove some of the sections that I particularly like in order to make the paper more concise. For instance, I removed a section on the Benedictian view of hospitality and how it relates to The Hobbit.

Intro and Philoxenia 0:00 -11:30
Landscape/Environment 11:30 – 12:19
Smaug, Seven Deady Sins; Bilbo and the Seven Virtues. 12:19 – End

Bumper Music: