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Tolkien in Vermont conferenceThe program for the 14th annual Tolkien in Vermont conference has been posted. This year’s theme is Romance in Middle-earth, and the keynote speaker is Corey Olsen. There’s a modest registration fee, except for University of Vermont students and high-school students, who get in free. This is a small and friendly conference where everyone — whether professor, student,  fan, or independent scholar —  gets a chance to talk to each other and listen to each other’s presentations.
Check out the Tolkien in Vermont website for this year’s and previous years’ programs. You can also join the Facebook event page. This year’s program information is copied below.

Registration fee: $25; $15 for students. UVM students and high-school students are free.


Friday, April 7th, 2017
Lafayette Hall L207: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Friday evening Tolkien fireside readings 2017
Organized and hosted by The Tolkien Club of UVM


Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Lafayette Hall L207: 8:00 – 5:00 p.m.

8:00 – 8:30: Continental breakfast with coffee & tea


8:30 – 9:00: Session #1

Freawaru and Tolkien’s Beowulf
Dr. Christoper T. Vaccaro • Senior Lecturer • University of Vermont

The broken sword, a meme: Beowulf, Arthur, and Elendil
Zachary Dilbeck • Columbus State Community College

9:30 – 10:45: Session #2

The tale of Turin, a hapless helpless boy with a doom for failed romance
Gerry Blair • independent scholar

Ill-met by moonlight: Aredhel and Eöl as the upside down of Beren and Lúthien
Katherine Neville • Signum University

“Thus wrote Pengolodh”: Historical bias, its evidence, and its implications in The Silmarillion
Dawn M. Walls-Thumma • Coventry Village School

10:45 – 12:00: Session #3

Realistic or fantastic narratives in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
Peter Kao • National Chung Cheng University

“I have loved you, and that love shall not fail”: Tolkien’s philological explorations of friendship, love, and romance in The Lord of the Rings
Dr. Marc Zender • Assistant Professor • Tulane University

“And with him was Elrond Half-Elven”: The high king and his herald (still a better love story than Twilight)
Dr. Kristine Larsen • Professor of Physics and Astronomy • Central Connecticut State University

12:00 – 12:45: Keynote

• The turning point in Tolkien’s career
Dr. Corey Olsen • Signum University

12:45 – 1:45: Lunch


1:45 – 3:00: Session #4

Dispelling misogyny in Tolkien’s women — through reflection of Medieval lyric and personal relationships
Annie Brust • Kent State University

Sounds in the dark: Assimilation and continuity in The Hobbit: An unexpected journey
Jeffrey Bullins • SUNY Plattsburgh

Weberian “vocation” in The Lord of the Rings
Paul Fortunato • University of Houston-Downtown

3:00: Coffee and tea

3:00 – 4:30: Session #5

“Warm as sunlight, cold as frost in the stars” — Tolkien’s exploration of courtly relationships through the Lady Galadriel
Andrew Peterson • Harvard University

Romance and romance
James Williamson • Senior Lecturer • University of Vermont

The evolution of the animal to magical beast in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
Heather Dail • Instructor • University of South Alabama