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Popular Culture Association logoThe Popular Culture Association national conference is just around the corner. After a successful trial run of Tolkien Studies as a special area last year, the organizers have included Tolkien Studies as a regular topic in the annual program. This year features another packed program, once again organized by Robin Reid.

The conference will be held in New Orleans from April 1 – 4. The Tolkien sessions are all on Friday, April 3, with a business meeting on April 4.  If you’re interested, you can join the Facebook group, “Tolkien Studies at Popular Culture/American Culture Association” and/or read my summary of a couple of roundtables last year here and here. And please note that the list of panels below is subject to change — if you plan to go, always check the official program to make sure you have accurate and updated information.  As you can see, the Tolkien Studies sessions occupy a whole day, but if you’re around for the rest of the conference, there’s a huge range of other sessions on popular culture to take in.

Tolkien Studies I: Literary Studies 1
Friday, April 3, 2015 – 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Room: Studio 7

Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University
“Ore-ganisms”: The Myth and Meaning of ‘Living Rock’ in Middle-earth

Victoria L. Holtz Wodzak, Viterbo University
Tolkien’s Gimpy Heroes: Trench Fever, Missing Limbs, and the Crippling Long-Term Effects of Injury

Margaret Sinex, Western Illinois University
“Nay, not Níniel”: The Wounded Psyche in the Prose Tradition of The Children of Húrin

Tolkien Studies II: Literary Studies 2
Friday, April 3, 2015 – 9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Room: Studio 7

Megan Whobrey, University of Central Oklahoma
Middle-earth’s Eddaic Hierarchy of Music

John Rosegrant, private practice
The Man-Maiden and the Spider with Horns: Galadriel, Shelob, and the Dyamics of Loss and Gender

Rich Cooper, Texas A&M
From Folk Tale to Fantasy: J.R.R. Tolkien, Madame D’Aulnoy, and the Evolution of a Literary Form

Janet Croft, Rutgers University
The Name of the Ring: Or, There and Back Again

Tolkien Studies III: Film and Literary Studies
Friday, April 3, 2015 – 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Room: Studio 7

Steven Kelly, Kansas State University
Forget the Gold: Unpacking Conservative Ideology in Peter Jackson’s Film Adaptations of The Hobbit

Peter Grybauskas, University of Maryland
The Devil’s Due: Sporting Enemies in the Legendarium

David Bratman, Mythopoeic Society
Smith of Wootton Major and Genre Fantasy”

Michael Wodzak, Viterbo University
Utumno Born and Utumno Bred, Strong in t’Arm and Thick in t’Ead:Who are Tom, Bert and Bill Huggins?

Tolkien Studies IV: Film Studies
Friday, April 3, 2015 – 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Room: Studio 7

Alicia Fox-Lenz, Independent Scholar
The Union between The Two Towers and the Twin Towers: Contemporary Audience Reception and the influence of war on The Lord of the Rings

Jennifer Spirko, Blount County Public Library
Extraordinary Orcs: Distorted Bodies in the films of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit

Janice Bogstad, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Lineage, Family, and the Absent Mother: Comparing Tolkien’s The Hobbit to the Jackson/Walsh/Boyens Cinematic Renderings

Robin Reid, Texas A&M University-Commerce
Conflicting Audience Receptions of Tauriel in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit

Tolkien Studies V: Cultural Studies
Friday, April 3, 2015 – 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Room: Studio 7

Phillip Fitzsimmons, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The palantíri Stones in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as Sauron’s Social Media: How to Avoid Getting Poked by the Dark Lord

Devena Holmes, Kent State University
Narration and Description: A Marxist Analysis of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

Helen Young, University of Sydney
Playing in the Shadow of Middle-earth

Tolkien Studies VI: New Approaches to Tolkien Studies
Friday, April 3, 2015 – 4:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Room: Studio 7

Brad Eden, Valparaiso University
Preliminary thoughts on the library of Michael H.R. Tolkien

Quinn Gervel, University of Manchester/Ashbury University
Tolkien in Context

Jerem Painter and Michael Elam, Regent University
Orwell and Tolkien: Language and Survelliance in Middle-earth and Oceana

Michael Elam, Regent University
Storming the Ivory Tower: Tolkien’s Graduate-Program Possibilities

Tolkien Studies VII:  Roundtable
Friday, April 3, 2015 – 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Room: Studio 7
“In a hole in the ground there lived a fangirl”: The Complications of Tolkien, Fandom, and The Hobbit
Cait Coker Texas A&M; Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University; Robin Reid, Texas A&M, Commerce

Tolkien Studies VIII:  Viewing of Desolation of Smaug extended edition
Friday, April 3, 2015.  8:15 p.m.
Room: Studio 7

Tolkien Studies IX: Business meeting
Saturday, April 4, 2015.  9:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Room:  Galerie I