This week’s talk by Dimitra Fimi applies concepts from childhood studies to Tolkien’s fiction. She begins by pointing out that the concept of childhood is a social construction that varies in different cultures and times, and then goes on to examine Tolkien’s ideas about childhood in “Laws and Customs of the Eldar,” The Children of Hurin, and The Lord of the Rings.
Dr. Fimi’s forthcoming monograph is on Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy, which is part of the Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature series (http://www.palgrave.com/de/series/14930). In the book, Dr. Fimi explores the Celtic sources and perceptions of “Celticity” in the works of authors such as Lloyd Alexander, Alan Garner, Susan Cooper, Jenny Nimmo, and Pat O’Shea, as well as much more recent works by Henry H. Neff, Catherine Fisher, Kate Thompson.
Dimitra Fimi’s other books deal directly with Tolkien: Tolkien, Race, and Cultural History (Palgrave, 2008) and most recently the co-edited book with Andrew Higgins, A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages (HarperCollins, 2016). You can find out more about her research and teaching on her website, http://dimitrafimi.com.
Her presentation, “Constructions of Childhood in Tolkien’s Legendarium,” was given at Oxonmoot in September 2015 and can be found on the Tolkien Society YouTube channel.