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The Tolkien meetings in Vermont, San Diego (the PCA/ACA), and Kalamazoo are now over and conference season is in full swing. Next stop, Leeds!

The Tolkien Society Seminar is held one day before the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, which also sponsors some Tolkien sessions. So, details about the Seminar first. I’m pleased to say that I’ll be attending for the first time and giving a paper.

Tolkien Society Seminar

July 2nd, The Hilton Leeds City. Read more about booking here.

The program is now on the Tolkien Society website. Registration starts at 9:00, with papers running from around 9:30 to 5:00, with the opportunity for a convivial gathering at a nearby pub afterwards.

The special theme of this year’s Seminar is “poetry and song.”

  • Brad Eden, The scholar as minstrel: Music as a conscious/subconscious theme in Tolkien’s poetry
  • Michaela Hausmann, Lyrics on Lost Lands – Constructing Lost Places through Poetry in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
  • Andrew Higgins, Poetry and Language Invention: The Interconnected Nature of Tolkien’s The Qenya Lexicon and His Early Poetry
  • Penelope Holdaway, Fair and Perilous: The Women of Tolkien’s non-Middle-earth Lays and Legends
  • Bertrand Bellet, Aurelie Bremont, Dimitra Fimi, Tolkien and Breton poetry:  What layers lie behind Tolkien’s lays?
  • Stuart Lee, Tolkien and The Battle of Maldon
  • Kristine Larsen, “Diadem the Fallen Day”: Astronomical and Arboreal Motifs in the Poem “Kortirion Among the Trees”
  • Szymon Pindur,  The magical and reality-transforming function of Tolkien’s songs and verse creations
  • Irina Metzler, Singing the World into Being: The Creative Power of Song in Tolkien’s Legendarium and Real-World Mythology
  • Massimiliano Izzo, In search of the Wandering Fire: otherworldly imagery in The Song of Ælfwine
  • Anna Smol, Seers and Singers: Sub-creative Collaborators in Tolkien’s Fiction.

International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds

The IMC is a huge conference that begins the day after the Tolkien Seminar. I won’t be able to attend this year, though for a happy reason: my family will be in the middle of a European vacation, and Leeds can only be a one-day stop for us. However, if you’re looking for presentations on Tolkien, there are four sessions this year organized by Dr. Dimitra Fimi. The following is an abridged version of the conference program; follow the links for more information on the speakers and for abstracts of the papers.

Session 242: J.R.R. Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches.
Monday 3 July 14:15-15:45
Organiser: Dimitra Fimi
Moderator: Andrew Higgins

  • Yvette Kisor, Tolkien’s Beowulf: Translating Knights
  • Anahit Behrooz, Mappa Mundi to Mappa Middle-Earth: Positioning J.R.R. Tolkien’s Cartography between Medieval and Modern Practices
  • Aurélie Brémont, Tales of the Corrigan: From Folklore to Nationalist Reinvention
  • Victoria Holtz-Wodzak, Treebeard’s Priesthood and the Franciscan Sanctity of Tolkien’s Natural World

Read more information about the speakers in this session and their abstracts here.

Session 342: “New” Tolkien: Expanding the Canon
Monday 3 July 16:30-18:00

Organiser and Moderator: Dimitra Fimi

  • Brad Eden, Mirkwood as Otherness: ‘New’ Tolkien and the Liminal Forest
  • Kristine Larsen, Magic, Matrimony, and the Moon: Medieval Lunar Symbolism in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun and The Fall of Arthur
  • Andrew Higgins, A Secret Vice, the 1930s, and the Growth of Tolkien’s ‘Tree of Tongues’

Read more information about the speakers in this session and their abstracts here.

Session 442: The Road Goes Ever On: The Future of Tolkien Scholarship – A Round Table Discussion
Monday 3 July 19:00-20:00

Organiser: Dimitra Fimi
Moderator: Carl L. Phelpstead

Read the abstract here.

Session 1019: Otherness in Tolkien’s Medievalism
Wednesday 5 July 9:00-10:30

Organiser: Dimitra Fimi
Moderator: Kristine Larsen

  • Irina Metzler, Disability in Tolkien’s Texts: Medieval ‘Otherness’?
  • Thomas Honegger, Tolkien’s Other Middle Ages
  • Sara Brown, The Invisible Other: Tolkien’s Dwarf-Women and the ‘Feminine Lack’
  • Gaëlle Abaléa, Our World, the Other World, and Those In-Between: Community with and Separation from the Dead in Tolkien’s Work

Read more about the speakers in this session and their abstracts here.