Monday, April 25, 2011

Final Project Proposal

Sorry this is so late, all. As it turns out I'm not in fact a wizard and do very little precisely when I mean to.

I'm planning to take a shot at the first prompt and do some cartography. What the exact form will be is as yet uncertain. I'll plan to do a relatively large-scale 3rd age map that encompasses not just Middle-Earth, but gets into greater Arda (and perhaps further?). However, as this is a relatively well-beaten path, that will only be the starting point. I plan to do a number of smaller maps as well. One that I'm toying with is a 2nd age map that will act as a companion to The Unfinished Tales and through that do a little work regarding the migration patters on the "Kingdoms" as it were of the Dúnedain. Other ideas for secondary maps include the oft-discussed geography east and south of Middle Earth, or perhaps even a shot at a more detailed look at the Northern Wastes.

All of this will be done with a scholarly eye toward source- specifically, Tolkien's. There is of course extensive debate about the extent to which a map of Arda is a map of Earth, or a map of Middle-Earth a map of Europe, which bears examination. In addition, I'd like to take a look at the parallels between Tolkien's mapping and Germanic myth-mapping (to what extent is Middle-Earth derived from Midgard? What about Arda and Erde?).

The intention is also to keep the source material narrow. I will consult Tolkien's own writing on the subject and (ideally) primary source material to which he would have had access. I mean to minimize consultation of any secondary source material on cartography within Tolkien's world as much as possible.

Any fellow map-makers out there want to consult?

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