CFP: Tolkien in Leeds 2018

This call for papers comes from Dr. Dimitra Fimi, the organizer of the Tolkien sessions at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, which will be held July 2-5, 2018.

IMC Leeds 2018 – Call for Papers on J.R.R. Tolkien

I am seeking abstracts for sessions on J.R.R. Tolkien for the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 2-5 July 2018, under the following themes:

‘New’ Tolkien: Expanding the Canon – paper session
This session will focus on recent works by J.R.R. Tolkien, posthumously published and authorized by the Tolkien Estate. Many of these volumes include Tolkien’s translations or creative retellings of medieval material. Papers can focus on (but are not restricted to) The Fall of Arthur (ed. Christopher Tolkien, 2013), Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary (ed. Christopher Tolkien, 2014), The Story of Kullervo (ed. Verlyn Flieger, 2015), A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages (ed. Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins, 2016), The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun (ed. Verlyn Flieger, forthcoming, 2017) and The Tale of Beren and Lúthien (ed. Christopher Tolkien, 2017).

Memory in Tolkien’s Medievalism – paper session
J.R.R. Tolkien’s “secondary world” unfolds in an immense depth of time. This sense of depth is inherent in The Lord of the Rings and is apparent in scenes such as the Council of Elrond, during which Elrond himself reminisces about events that took place thousands of years previously. What is more, it is not a literary device: Tolkien spent most of his lifetime inventing an extended mythology that detailed the history of his imaginary world over millennia, including a cosmogonic myth and a great number of interrelated legends and tales. This session will explore time in Tolkien’s legendarium with an emphasis on memory. Papers can focus on topics such as the value, nature, means, or trauma of remembering and/or forgetting the past in Middle-earth, the role of memory in shaping the future, memorials and monuments, the fictitious transmission of the legendarium (via texts or orally), and remembering and forgetting as part of Tolkien’s “secondary world infrastructures” (Wolf, 2012) such as timelines, genealogies, languages, cultures, etc. (This is not an exclusive list.)

Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches – paper session
This session will accommodate wider topics and new approaches to Tolkien’s medievalism, ranging from source studies and theoretical readings, to comparative studies (including Tolkien’s legacy).

Tolkien in Context(s) – round table discussion
This round table discussion provides a forum to explore different approaches to Tolkien’s work via various frameworks and contexts, from Tolkien’s medieval scholarship and his social/historical/intellectual milieu, to worldbuilding, the wider history of fantasy literature, and including Tolkien in an academic curriculum (the list is not exclusive).

If you are interested, please submit a paper/round table contribution title and abstract to Dr Dimitra Fimi ( by 31st August 2017.

  • Length of abstracts: 100 words
  • (Papers will be 15-20 minutes long while round table contributions will be 10-12 minutes long)
  • With your abstract, please include name and details of contributor (affiliation, address, and preferred e-mail address).

Dr Dimitra Fimi
Cardiff Metropolitan University

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