Recently I got an email from the Chair of a high-school English department who wanted to know about classes in Tolkien or fantasy literature that might be taught at other high schools. I realized I have no idea.
Furthermore, I have no idea how many college courses are now devoted to Tolkien. Back in 2003, when I was making the case to WVU Press that they should publish Tolkien Studies, I did a rough survey, searching for "Tolkien" and "syllabus" on the same page and then weeding out by hand. This is no longer possible: there are 37,000 results, and many duplications.
So, instead of brute-force googling (though I'm sure those with better google-fu than I could narrow it down), let's try the power of distributed intelligence and social networking.
If you know of classes devoted to Tolkien or having a substantial Tolkien component, at the high-school or college level, post about them in the comments here or email me. I will assemble all the data and make a new post. You don't need to write much, just something like:
Wheaton College, Norton Mass: English 259: J.R.R. Tolkien, English 401: Sr. Seminar: Tolkien and Le Guin.
Of course if there's a link to a syllabus, that's even better, but not necessary. And if you don't have specific data, but can remember something like "I had a course on JRRT at University of X in 2002," that's fine, too.
My gut feeling is that the number of courses has perhaps even doubled since 2003. Just recently I was partnered with someone from another New England elite liberal arts college, and he just mentioned, in passing, that one of their new faculty members "does this course on Tolkien, of all things, and it's really very good." (I just smiled). Anecdotal evidence suggests that a lot of medievalists are now teaching a Tolkien course as well (and, yes, I'll be they are "really very good"). So I think these courses are now all over the place and are more "respectable" than they were even six years ago. I'd like to see if this hunch is correct.
(I'll save a description of my war with the raccoons for the next post)