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Here is the list of Tolkien Studies sessions that have been approved for the 2014 Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association conference in Chicago in April. The dates and times of the sessions will be posted on the PCA/ACA website in February. As you can see, there was an excellent response to this year’s first trial run of the Tolkien Studies area — with no small thanks to Robin Reid, who did a great deal of publicizing, encouraging, and organizing to make this happen!

For my own part, I’m looking forward to participating in the roundtable discussion on the Marquette Tolkien Archive when I plan to talk about the potential of the archive for the study of Tolkien fandom.

Take a look at the variety of presentations to come:

SESSIONS:

WAR IN MIDDLE-EARTH
Noms de Guerre: The Power of Naming in War and Conflict in Middle-earth
Janet Croft

Gollum’s Great Chain of Hearing: The Great War and Tolkien’s Last Alliance
Peter Grybauskas

The War Wounded in the Prose Tradition of The Children of Húrin
Margaret Sinex (moderator)

VISUALIZING TOLKIEN: ILLUSTRATIONS AND FILMS
Illustration as Translation: Assertion of National Identity in Tove Jansson’s Illustrations of Tolkien’s The Hobbit
M. Lee Alexander

The Disabled Hero: The Ethics of the Wound in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings
Todd Comer

Ruins and Dreams: Environmental Visions within The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
William Korver

Tolkien and the Multimodal Text: Narrative Transformational Strategies
Janice Bogstad (moderator)

THE MATERIALITY OF MIDDLE-EARTH
Tolkien and Literary Cartography: Spatiality, Fantasy, Modernity
Robert Tally

Constructions of Middle-earth in Tolkien’s Legendarium
Robin Reid

Breaking the Dragon’s Gaze: Revealing Commodity Fetishism in Tolkien’s Middle-earth
Steven Kelly

Darkness Amid the Day: Eclipses in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien
Kristine Larsen (moderator)

COMPLEX HEROES AND IDEALS IN TOLKIEN’S LEGENDARIUM

Frodo is Overrated: Why Samwise Gamgee is the True Hero of The Lord of the Rings
Kathryn Allen

The Making of a Hero: Success and Failure of Heroic Characters in Beowulf and The Lord of the Rings
Rachel Syens

Tolkien’s Unfallen Man: Tom Bombadil as an Image of Humanity’s Ideal State
Brian Kenna

Tolkien and the Buddhist influence: thoughts and perspectives
Brad Eden (moderator)

THREE ROUNDTABLES:

THE STATE OF TOLKIEN STUDIES SCHOLARSHIP
Brad Eden
Janet Brennan Croft
Christopher Vaccaro
David Bratman
Robin Reid (moderator)

THE TOLKIEN ARCHIVE AT MARQUETTE
William Fliss
Amy Amendt-Radugue
Anna Smol
Richard West
Robin Reid (moderator)

AUTHORIZING TOLKIEN: QUESTIONS OF CONTROL, ADAPTATION, AND DISSEMINATION OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN’S WORKS

Kathryn Allen
Cait Coker
Brad Eden
Kristine Larsen
Robin Reid
Robert Tally
Michael Elam (moderator)

OTHER:

Tolkien Studies Business Meeting

Film Viewing: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey