Video postcard: Re-enacting the historical Battle of Maldon

On the Historic Quad, students in Associate Professor of English Sylvia Federico‘s course “Lord of the Rings in Context” re-enact the historical Battle of Maldon, in which Viking invaders defeated the English in August of the year 991. In the course, Federico, an expert in neo-medievalism in contemporary culture, guides her students into a critical understanding of JRR Tolkien‘s creative approach, while also illuminating Tolkien’s lesser-known academic brilliance. In this clip, narrator Beth Siegert ’14 of Acton, Mass., reads from Tolkien’s critical interpretation of the Old English poetic fragment that memorializes the events of 991, while her fellow students re-enact the battle.