Tolkien as Early Environmentalist
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. He also writes novels, including a novelization of the “Finn and Hengest” story. In addition to his teaching and writing, he is a musician, 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.
Matthew Dickerson’s guest lecture for the Mythgard Academy is titled “Tolkien as Early Environmentalist.”