patrick james

Vox Populi: Patrick James in Dialogue with Sean Astin

by Phillip Witteveen August 4, 2014

The T radio V network is exactly what the order of words might suggest: radio in TV. (This is actually their subtitle.) In the case of T radio V’s Vox Populi, it’s the video record of Lord of the Rings actor Sean Astin hosting pundits to talk about current events, and the histories leading up to them. Or, as Astin puts it himself, to “model civil discourse.” On June 19th, he was joined by Professor Patrick James, who made a gift of his recent book The International Relations of Middle Earth to Astin, the erstwhile Samwise Gamgee, with the brief, satisfying aplomb of two little pieces of […]

Read more

Patrick James on the New Books Series

by Phillip Witteveen June 17, 2013

Professor, author, and Canadian Patrick James joined host Dan Nexon on New Books in Science Fiction to discuss his recent International Relations of Middle Earth: Learning from the Lord of the Rings, (co-authored by Abigail Ruane). The idea rose out of James’ childhood interest in the series. “For many years, I’d been re-reading the books—was incredibly excited when the Peter Jackson movies came out. And what happened, was the Abi Ruane and I stumbled upon each other. We discovered this complementary interest while on a bus,” James said. The book delves into the leadership and decision-making of the events of […]

Read more

Patrick James discusses “The International Relations of Middle-earth”

by Phillip Witteveen February 27, 2013

The reason, James explains, that this series was chosen as a comparative text for an introduction into International Relations, was because of its “extraordinary completeness  and complexity as a world — the most completely specified fantasy world that has ever been created — enough to rival human history itself.” For this reason, in James’ view, Lord of the Rings can be made to serve as an enlightening allegory to the study of International Relations. James related two broad philosophical themes of international relations — justice and order, to the plot of the trilogy, as well as concepts about the interactions of […]

Read more

LA Weekly Spotlights ‘International Relations of Middle-earth’

by Shaun Manning December 11, 2012

With The Hobbit hitting theatres this week, LA Weekly, part of the Village Voice family of free papers, interviewed International Relations of Middle-earth co-author Patrick James about the book’s origins and using Tolkien to teach real-world multinational conflict. In the interview, James credited Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy with creating a “pop culture touchstone,” making the situations and themes that pervade Frodo and Sam’s journey relateable and therefor even more useful in the classroom.

Read more

The Demography and Diplomacy of ‘The Lord of the Rings’

by Shaun Manning October 9, 2012

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings presented an incredibly rich fantasy world, imbued with poetic language and an intricate system of relationships between characters, races, and nations. The epic trilogy–The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, along with prequel adventure The Hobbit–have inspired a passionate fandom but also, intriguingly, in-depth research into the fictional world. Earlier this year, the University of Michigan Press published Abigail E. Ruane and Patrick James’s The International Relations of Middle-earth: Learning from the Lord of the Rings.  The book uses Tolkien’s multinational intrigues between Gondor, Lothlorien, Arnor, the […]

Read more