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The approved sessions for Kalamazoo (the International Congress on Medieval Studies) have just been announced. In spite of very well attended sessions in the past and plenty of paper submissions, the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group has once again been reduced by the conference organizers, as have other groups attending the Congress.  For 2017, only two sessions were approved for the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group, and one other as a separately-sponsored session. The ICMS organizers seem determined to downsize their conference, a process that has been ongoing for a few years now. As far as I know, those proposing sessions are not given explanations for the selection or rejection of their submissions, leaving everyone to guess which topics might “go” and which might be turned down every year — and how many might be allowed.

In any case, here are the calls for papers for the three Tolkien sessions in 2017. The complete list of calls for all sessions can be viewed here.

Tolkien at Kalamazoo sessions

Tolkien and languages

This session will explore Tolkien’s contributions as a philologist of both early languages as well as the creation of his own languages.

Asterisk Tolkien

This session will examine various threads and tangents related to Tolkien studies and research.  This may include papers on influences, lacunae, and other related topics important to the field.

The deadline for submission of proposals is September 1, 2016 to Dr. Brad Eden at brad.eden@valpo.edu.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Brad.

The Hill School session

“Eald enta geweorc”: Tolkien and the Classical Tradition

“Finnish,” J. R. R. Tolkien famously commented, “nearly ruined my Honor Mods”: but even a bottom-of-the-barrel Second on the first examination in Litterae Humaniores in 1913 reflects a considerable depth of classical learning by our standards a century later. Despite his academically dangerous attraction to the northern fringes of Europe, Tolkien’s scholarly and literary projects could no more escape the intellectual relics of Greco-Roman civilization than could the Anglo Saxons whose landscape still showed its physical ruins, the “old work of giants.” This session seeks papers which will consider Tolkien the medievalist as receiver and transmitter of the classical heritage.

organizer: John Wm. Houghton
The Hill School
Dept. of Religious Studies and Philosophy
717 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
jhoughton@thehill.org

Anyone thinking of submitting a proposal to these or any other sessions should read the information on the conference website about the forms that need to be sent in with abstracts. You can also contact the session organizers for information.