Honors students walk in footsteps of Tolkien and Lewis in England
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Honors students walk in footsteps of Tolkien and Lewis in England

Montage of writers
The group of writers known as "The Inklings."

Office neighbors Matthew Jordan, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, and Elizabeth Woodworth, Associate Professor of English, discovered during a water cooler discussion one day that they have a shared interest in the Inklings, a group of writers led by C.S. Lewis in the 1930s and 1940s at Oxford University.

Jordan casually said one day, ”Hey, Elizabeth, we ought to put together an Honors class to take to Oxford.” To which Woodworth replied, “Interesting you should bring this up, Matt. I have a class I put together on Oxford and literature a few years ago. Let’s see what we can do.” So they did.

Then these facts emerged: Jordan knows a lot about C.S. Lewis and really likes “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Woodworth, once upon a time, read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” ten times in a row. Yes, ten times in a row (don’t ask).

Jordan and Woodworth proposed they take a small group of students to England and form “Re-Inklings” to emulate the community of readers, thinkers and writers from the Inklings. They took their idea to Don Nobles, Director of the Honors Program, and he said, “Make it so.” And they did.

The following students are taking part in this epic journey:

  • Caitlyn Barnes, English major
  • Kelhi DePace, English and History major
  • Jessica Defee, Marketing major
  • Catherine Walden, History major

These lucky souls have the unique opportunity to examine the writings of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and other philosophers and writers – then walk in their footsteps by traveling to Oxford University and London this week to explore their works more in-depth.

Follow them on their quest at http://reinklings.wordpress.com.

July 22, 2013


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