The Tolkien in Vermont conference will take place this coming weekend. This is a small, friendly conference that brings together every year a group of faculty, independent scholars, and students. This year’s theme is Tolkien and Popular Culture.
If you look at the program below, you’ll see a couple of pretty long titles! This is all in the spirit of fun — Kris Larsen has been devising longer and longer titles every year, and when the keynote speaker Robin Reid saw Kristine’s title, she decided to go one better with her own lengthy title. In reaction, I’ve decided to stick to one-word titles!
April 8-9, 2016
University of Vermont
Friday, April 8
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tolkien Fireside Reading
Saturday, April 9
8:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Session 1: 8:30 – 10:00
—Yvette Kisor (Ramapo College) “Queer Tolkien: State of the Field”
—Anna Smol (Mount Saint Vincent University) “Sister-sons” read the abstract here [pdf]
—Chris Vaccaro (University of Vermont) “Saruman’s Sexual Otherness”
Session 2: 10:00 – 11:45. Undergraduate Voices
—Christopher Kelm (U. of Vermont) “Magic and Sorcery: Good and Evil in Tolkien’s Middle-earth”
—Kit Loomis (U. of Vermont) “Not Dead, Legally: Necromancy, the Vyne Ring Curse, and Oath Limitations”
—Liam McAuliffe (U. of Vermont) “Lost in the Lens Flare: Tolkien’s Many Shades of Evil”
—Ryan Quinn (U. of Vermont) “Iarwen Ben-Adar: The Ancient Evil of Arda”
Lunch break 11:45-1:00
Session 3: 1:00-2:30
Keynote: Robin Reid (Texas A&M University – Commerce)
Tolkien and popular culture: Being the Chronicle of Quests from Fandom to Academia and Back Again as the Island of Anglophone Literary Studies in the United States underwent Transformations During the 1970s to 2000s of the Fourth Age of the World Due to Progressive Movements of the Twentieth Century Challenging Oppressive Hierarchies Relating to Gender, Race, and Sexual Identification (Though not so much Class because “America” and Its Weird Obsession with Bootstraps) as Cultural Studies Swept like a Wave Over the Ivory Towers (Keep in Mind It’s a Simile not an Allegory). Plus Tattoos.
Session 4: 2:30 – 4:00
—Kristine Larsen (University of Connecticut) “Kind People!!!: The Adventures of Svetlana Snape Down the Hobbit Hole; Being a (Semi) Serious and Scholarly Dissertation on The Thread ™ That Ate the Tolkien Society Facebook Page (And Judged it to Strangely Taste Like Bacon); In Which the Author Endeavors to Answer Two Great Primordial Questions, Namely (1) What Do Palindromes, Trebuchets, Quantum Physics and Hello Kitty Have to Do With the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien (Clearly a Rhetorical Question Given That the Obvious Answer is – Very Little), and (2) What Exactly is a Pant of Thong Ale? (The Answer to Which Promises to Shed Great Light on the Gestalt of the Tolkien Fandom)”
—Andrew Peterson (Independent Scholar) “Hobbit Forming: How the Animated Versions of The Hobbit and The Return of the King by Rankin / Bass introduced Middle-earth to a Generation of Wanderers”
—James Williamson (University of Vermont) “Tolkien and Popular Publishing: the Creation of the Fantasy Genre”
Session 5: 4:00 – 5:30
—Gerry Blair (Independent Scholar) “Tolkien Fandom and Pop Culture: The Polite and the Vulgar”
—Leonard Neidorf (Harvard University) “Creation from Literary Criticism in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fall of Arthur”