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February 12, 2019

Asbury University students are given the skills and support needed to succeed not only in their future careers, but to thrive in academia and research during their undergraduate years. The latest display of this comes in the most recent issue of the Journal of Tolkien Research, which has something previous volumes did not: an article written by an Asbury undergraduate. “‘Few Have Gained Such a Victory’: A Defense of Boromir in The Lord of the Rings” written by English major Kayla Beebout ’20 was accepted by the journal’s editors for publication in Volume 6, Issue 2.

The Journal of Tolkien Research is a peer-reviewed electronic journal with open access, which means its digital content is immediately available to scholars all over the world without charge. Authors can not only see how many times their essays have been downloaded, they can also see the city and country where readers are located.

Beebout’s love for Tolkien began when she was in fourth grade. “My dad showed my brother and me the birthday party scene from the beginning of the film version of The Fellowship of the Ring, and I went to the school library determined to read the books,” Beebout explained. “My interest turned into a passion and the dream of someday being a Tolkien scholar. When we were assigned an essay in Dr. Brown’s Lewis and Tolkien class, I knew what I wanted to write: a defense of my favorite character in the series, Boromir.”

After submission, the article underwent a rigorous review from several expert readers and was provisionally accepted on the condition that it be revised extensively. Beebout noted that most of the reviewers’ suggestions focused on including more scholarship and demonstrating an engagement with what previous authors had said about her subject, using their arguments to strengthen, expand and contrast with her own. The reviewers also requested that she explain some of her conclusions more thoroughly and tighten and clarify some of her language.

A link to Beebout’s article can be found here.

“To have an article in a journal of this significance is the kind of thing a Ph.D. candidate might aspire to,” said Professor of English Dr. Devin Brown. “So, for Kayla to be published here as a junior is quite remarkable. We were thrilled with the news that her article had been accepted and are extremely proud of her.” 

What’s next for the Asbury junior? “I would love to present at another conference,” Beebout said. She and Annalee Brantner ’19 presented papers at the C. S. Lewis and Friends Colloquium in Upland, Ind. over the summer. “I was amazed at the warm welcome and encouragement we received,” Beebout noted.

Brown’s Lewis and Tolkien class will be offered again in spring 2020 and is open to students from all majors. This class is one of many courses unique to Asbury’s English Department.

Learn more about Asbury’s English Department.