Kalamazoo: Tolkien Symposium and ICMS Conference

The program for the  International Congress on Medieval Studies  is now online, and there are numerous sessions for those interested in Tolkien and medievalism.  I’ve copied these from the preview program; of course, you should read the final program to double check the accuracy of this list.

The Congress has been cutting back the number of sessions available to the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group, so to counteract that, a pre-conference Tolkien Symposium has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 10 in the Western Michigan University Library. I’ve previously posted the schedule, but a revised version is posted again below in case you’re planning to attend the ICMS and can add on the Symposium, which will occur on the first afternoon that the Congress opens its doors. The theme of the Symposium is Tolkien Anniversaries.

Please note: you will not find the Tolkien Symposium schedule in the Congress program. This Symposium is not connected with the Congress organization.

Tolkien Symposium.  Wednesday, May 10. 1:00 – 5:00. Western Michigan University Library (revised schedule, April 19)

Western Michigan University Library

1:00-1:30 p.m.
Kristine Larson, Ragnarok and the Rekindling of the Magic Sun

1:40-2:10 p.m.
Sandra Hartl, The Ainur and the Greek Pantheon: From The Book of Lost Tales to The Silmarillion

2:20-2:50 p.m.
Erik Mueller Harder, The river Swanfleet: A journey from the Misty Mountains to flat fenlands and half way back again; or, How the discovery of Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth by Blackwell’s Rare Books in Oxford extricates Pauline Baynes’ cartographic reputation from the marsh of Nîn-in-Eilph

3:00-3:30 p.m.
Michael Wodzak, An Auto-Ethnographic Study of Bilbo’s Party

3:40-4:10 p.m.
Andrew Higgins, Mapping Tolkien’s The Book of Lost Tales: Exploring ‘I Vene Kemen’ (‘The Ship of the Earth’)

4:20-5:00 p.m.
Victoria Holtz-Wodzak, ‘On Golden Grove Unleaving’: Tolkien, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the Inscape of Middle-earth

You can find abstracts of the papers here (revised April 19)

Tolkien Unbound.  Thursday evening, May 11.  Kalamazoo College Recital Hall.

[This item added here Feb.2nd] Another event that will not appear in the Congress program is Tolkien Unbound, an annual night of entertainment that last year moved out of the Congress-approved sessions and into nearby Kalamazoo College, where it will be held again this year. The 2017 program features:

A dramatic reading of Leaf by Niggle, directed by Thom Foy
Maidens of Middle-earth VII: Treaty Brides. A musical performance by Eileen Marie Moore.

 [added April 9]: Download the Tolkien Unbound Flyer [pdf] with directions and information about rides.

ICMS sessions on Tolkien and on medievalism, May 11 -14.

Kalamazoo campus swan pond

Organization of this list: 1. sessions devoted entirely to Tolkien studies; 2. sessions that include Tolkien; 3. sessions on medievalism, starting with the ones sponsored by the International Society for the Study of Medievalism; 4. an invitation to a rogue workshop (also not in the official program) on Whiteness in Medieval Studies; and 5. Kristine Larsen’s Astrolabe Workshop

1. Sessions devoted entirely to Tolkien Studies

Friday 10 a.m.
“Eald enta geweorc”: Tolkien and the Classical Tradition
Sponsor: Dept. of Religious Studies and Philosophy, The Hill School
Organizer: John Wm. Houghton, Hill School
Presider: John Wm. Houghton

  • The “Other” Classicism: Tolkien, Homer, and the Greek Novel. John R. Holmes, Franciscan Univ. of Steubenville
  • The Winnowing Oar: Odysseus, Frodo, and the Search for Peace. Victoria Holtz Wodzak, Viterbo Univ.
  • The Politics of Tragedy: Plato’s Athenian Atlantis, Tolkien’s Numenorian Atalante, and the Nazi Reich. Joshua Hren, George Fox Univ.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien and Plato’s Timaeus. Christopher T. Vaccaro, Univ. of Vermont

Saturday noon: Tolkien at Kalamazoo business meeting. Bernhard 106

Saturday 1:30
402 FETZER 1010
Tolkien and Language
Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Organizer: Brad Eden, Valparaiso Univ.
Presider: Brad Eden

  • “O’er the Moon, Below the Daylight”: Tolkien’s Blue Bee, Pliny, and the Kalevala. Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State Univ.
  • Music: The One Language in Which the Noldor Were Not Fluent. Eileen Marie Moore, Cleveland State Univ.
  • Elvish Practitioners of the “Secret Vice.” Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar
  • Tolkien and Constructed Languages. Dean Easton, Independent Scholar

Saturday 3:30
454 FETZER 1010
Asterisk Tolkien
Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Organizer: Brad Eden, Valparaiso Univ.
Presider: Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State Univ.

  • The “Third Spring”: New Discoveries and Connections. Brad Eden
  • “He came alone, and in bear’s shape”: Tolkien’s Attempt at Correcting the Thwarting of Bodvar Bjarki. Michael David Elam, Regent Univ.
  • Landscape as Character in The Lord of the Rings. Robert Dobie, La Salle Univ.
  • Tolkien’s Monsters: An Asterisk in his Translation of Beowulf. Yvette Kisor, Ramapo College

2. Sessions that include Tolkien

Thursday 7:30 p.m.
161 BERNHARD 210
The Teaching of Old English (A Roundtable)
Sponsor: Old English Forum, Modern Language Association
Organizer: Matthew T. Hussey, Simon Fraser Univ.
Presider: Robin Norris, Carleton Univ.

  • A Course in Beowulf and Tolkien. Paul Acker, St. Louis Univ.
  • Teaching Old English in History of the English Language. Heide Estes, Monmouth Univ.
  • Assignments to Enliven a Dead Language. Jacqueline A. Fay, Univ. of Texas–Arlington
  • An Anglo-Saxon Sampler. Damian Fleming, Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ.–Fort Wayne
  • Material Culture and Old English Pedagogy. Breann Leake, Univ. of Connecticut
  • Reading Like Anglo-Saxons. Erica Weaver, Harvard University

This next one is interesting: a performance of Leaf by Niggle (in the same evening as a “filthy French farce”)  A one-man Leaf by Niggle show was a hit last year in the UK; it will be interesting to hear how this version is performed.

Thursday night 8 p.m. Gilmore Theatre Complex

  • Leaf-by-Niggle . Univ. of Maryland
  • It’s a Miracle! The Harlotry Players, Univ. of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  • Cooch E. Whippet (Farce of Martin of Cambray). Radford Univ.

$15.00 General Admission. $10.00 presale through online Congress registration
Shuttles leave Valley III (Eldridge-Fox) beginning at 7:15 p.m.

A triple bill featuring a Tolkien fairy tale staged in a medieval style, a florilegium of fakery from the Harlotry Players, and a filthy French farce.

Saturday 1:30
434 SCHNEIDER 2355
Teaching the Edda and Sagas in the Undergraduate Classroom: Strategies and Approaches (A Roundtable)
Organizer: Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar, Grand Valley State Univ.
Presider: Rachel S. Anderson, Grand Valley State Univ.

  • Using Tolkien as a Gateway to the Edda and Sagas in the Undergraduate Classroom. Lee Templeton, North Carolina Wesleyan College
  • “I advise you, Loddfafnir, to take this council”: Teaching College Writing and Research Using the Eddas. Gregory L. Laing, Harding Univ.
  • Teaching Germanic Mythology 101. Johanna Denzin, Columbia College
  • Material Culture and Norse Mythology. Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar

3. Sessions on medievalism

International Society for the Study of Medievalism

Thursday 7:30
157 BERNHARD 204
Performing Medievalisms (A Roundtable)
Sponsor: International Society for the Study of Medievalism
Organizer: Amy S. Kaufman, Middle Tennessee State Univ.
Presider: Carol L. Robinson, Kent State Univ.–Trumbull

  • The One True Hero: Performing Medievalism in ABC’s The Quest
    Susan Aronstein, Univ. of Wyoming
  • Negotiating the Future: Subversive Southern Medievalism in The House behind the Cedars. Alexandra Cook, Univ. of Alabama
  • “An Indifferent Nebula”: Fantasy Role-Playing Games, Leisure Culture, and the Simulated Middle Ages. Gerald Nachtwey, Eastern Kentucky Univ.
  • Playing Chaucer: Performance, Adaptation, and Its Importance in Fandom in Medieval Studies. Hillary Yeager, Middle Tennessee State Univ.
  • Habits and Habitus: The Western Martial Arts Revival and Embodied Hermeneutics. Robert Rouse, Univ. of British Columbia

Friday 10:00
The United States of Medievalism
Sponsor: International Society for the Study of Medievalism
Organizer: Susan Aronstein, Univ. of Wyoming
Presider: Susan Aronstein

  • Philadelphia’s Medievalist Jewels: Bryn Athyn Cathedral and Glencairn. Kevin J. Harty, La Salle Univ.
  • The Vikings are Due on Main Street: Norse Incursion into Minnesota’s Literary Imagination. Glenn Davis, St. Cloud State Univ.
  • Robin Hood’s Greenwood in Texas: Sherwood Forest Faire. Lorraine Kochanske Stock, Univ. of Houston
  • Orlando: Theme Park Medievalisms. Tison Pugh, Univ. of Central Florida
  • Las Vegas: Getting Medieval in Sin City. Laurie A. Finke, Kenyon College; Martin B. Shichtman, Eastern Michigan Univ.

Friday 1:30
270 BERNHARD 208
Medievalism and Immigration I
Sponsor: International Society for the Study of Medievalism
Organizer: Amy S. Kaufman, Middle Tennessee State Univ.
Presider: Pamela J. Clements, Siena College

  • Images of Immigration and Notions of Nation in Early Modern Medievalism. Sarah A. Kelen, Nebraska Wesleyan Univ.
  • Medieval Religion in New France: Marie de l’Incarnation and the Ursuline Nuns of Québec. Nancy Bradley Warren, Texas A&M Univ.
  • Arthur Hugh Clough’s Mari Mango, or, How to “Victorianize” The Canterbury Tales. William C. Calin, Univ. of Florida

Friday 3:30
329 BERNHARD 208
Medievalism and Immigration II
Sponsor: International Society for the Study of Medievalism
Organizer: Amy S. Kaufman, Middle Tennessee State Univ.
Presider: Elizabeth Wawrzyniak, Marquette Univ.

  • Medievalism, Brexit, and the Myth of Nations. Andrew B. R. Elliott, Univ. of Lincoln
  • “I’m 20% Viking”: Englishness, Immigration, and the Public Reception of Histor­ical DNA. Michael Evans, Delta

Other sessions on medievalism

Friday 10:00
190 SCHNEIDER 1225
Growing Up Medieval: The Middle Ages in Children’s and Young Adult Literature
Sponsor: Tales after Tolkien Society
Organizer: Helen Young, Univ. of Sydney
Presider: Geoffrey B. Elliott, Independent Scholar

  • The Dream Frame of Baum’s Wizard of Oz. William Racicot, Independent Scholar
  • Women Piercing through the Medieval Fantasy Genre: A Look at Tamora Pierce’s Influence on Women in Medieval Fantasy. Rachel Cooper, Univ. of Saskatchewan
  • Heralds of the Queen: Upholding and Subverting the Medieval Ideal through
    Girl Power, Sexuality, and le Merveilleux in Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar Series
    Carrie Pagels, St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame

Saturday 10:00

389 BERNHARD 210
Atmospheric Medievalisms/Medieval Atmospheres (A Roundtable)
Sponsor: postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies
Organizer: Myra Seaman, College of Charleston
Presider: Myra Seaman

  • Anglo-Saxon Atmospheres. Edward J. Christie, Georgia State Univ.
  • The Water Subtext of The Book of the Duchess. Brantley L. Bryant, Sonoma State Univ.
  • An Atmosphere of Anxiety in Late Medieval English Drama. Christina M. Fitzgerald, Univ. of Toledo
  • The Air of Fiction. Julie Orlemanski, Univ. of Chicago
  • Racialized Sound. Molly Lewis, George Washington Univ.
  • Airing Out the Senses. Richard Newhauser, Arizona State Univ.

Saturday 1:30

440 BERNHARD 209
Medievalism and Pedagogy
Sponsor: Medieval Association of the Midwest (MAM)
Organizer: Audrey Becker, Marygrove College
Presider: Audrey Becker

  • Play, Games, and the Medieval World: Teaching Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The White Company. Robert Sirabian, Univ. of Wisconsin–Stevens Point
  • Teaching Westeros: Medieval Studies, Medievalism, and George R. R. Martin. Carol Jamison, Armstrong State Univ.
  • “Medieval” Rhetoric, ISIS, and the Syrian Refugee Crisis: A Lesson for Teaching Political Medievalisms in the Undergraduate Classroom. Erin S. Lynch, Medieval Institute, Western Michigan Univ.
  • “Have you ever heard of Robin Longstride?”: Anachronism, Authenticity, and Teaching Robin Hood. Christian Sheridan, Bridgewater College

Sunday 8:30 a.m.
527 BERNHARD 158
Medievalism and Disability (A Roundtable)
Sponsor: Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages
Organizer: Joshua Eyler, Rice Univ.
Presider: John P. Sexton, Bridgewater State Univ.

  • Urs Graf ’s Daughter Courage: Violence and Disability in Late Medieval Europe. Jess Genevieve Bailey, Univ. of California–Berkeley
  • A Visual Database for Medieval Disability. Christopher Baswell, Barnard College
  • Impaired in Camelot: An Analysis of Ableism in Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant. Tirumular Narayanan, California State Univ.–Chico
  • Trope or Truth? Medievalism and the Ubiquity of Disability. Kisha G. Tracy, Fitchburg State Univ.
  • Life Was Like That: The Grotesque Medieval in the Modern Imagination. Elizabeth Wawrzyniak

Sunday 10:30
549 SCHNEIDER 1225
Settlement and Landscape II: Textual Approaches to the Medieval in the Modern
Organizer: Vicky McAlister, Southeast Missouri State Univ.; Jennifer L. Immich, Metropolitan State Univ. of Denver
Presider: Jennifer L. Immich

  • Approaching the Medieval in Comic: How the Adventures of an Arthurian Knight are Appropriated for a Contemporary Audience. Annegret Oehme, Univ. of Washington–Seattle
  • Hive Minds: Interdisciplinarity in Research and Pedagogy. Lahney Preston-Matto, Adelphi Univ.
  • America’s “Poisoned Landscape”: Medievalism and the Alt-right. Mary A. Valante, Appalachian State Univ.

Finally, I’m signal-boosting this workshop and invitation:

4. Rogue Workshop (not in the official program)

Saturday, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Fetzer 1005

From In the Middle: Whiteness in Medieval Studies: a rogue workshop on racial politics that will explore how medievalists in all areas of study can be effective allies for diversity and inclusion within our institutions and across our field.

 5. Kristine Larsen’s Astrolabe Workshop

[This item added here Feb. 2] Tolkien scholar and astronomer Kristine Larsen has run a very popular astrolabe workshop for several years now at the Congress, and she’s at it again this year.

Friday 9:30 p.m. A Hands-On Introduction to Astrolabes: Valley III Eldridge 309
Calculating Traditional Prayer Times in the Christian Monastery (A Workshop)
Organizer: Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State Univ.
Presider: Kristine Larsen
A hands-on workshop on the use of a medieval astrolabe to calculate the Christian monastery’s traditional times of prayer. The first 50 participants will receive a cardboard astrolabe that can be taken home.

Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed something that belongs in this list. I’m not planning to go to Kalamazoo this year, but, my friends, please blog and tweet all kinds of reports from these sessions!  And have an extra dance for me.

Note: This post was edited on February 2nd to add information on the Tolkien Unbound session, listed above, and on item 5. Kristine Larsen’s Astrolabe Workshop

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