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My inbox is full of calls for papers in Tolkien Studies!

This list is organized by deadline dates, one for every month from January to April. You’ll find calls for papers for three conferences and one volume of essays.

The 15th Annual Tolkien in Vermont conference

April 7, 2018
University of Vermont, US

CFP deadline: January 31, 2018
https://www.facebook.com/tolkienvt/

The theme is Language and Etymologies, with keynote speaker Andrew Higgins, co-editor of A Secret Vice.  Papers will be considered on the theme and any other topics.

 

“Something has gone crack”: New Perspectives on J.R.R. Tolkien in the Great War

Co-edited collection of essays by Janet Brennan Croft and Annika Röttinger to be published by Walking Tree Press.

CFP deadline: February 28, 2018
Read more: Something has gone crack [pdf]

 

The Past, Present, and Future of Tolkien Scholarship

[Update: April 2018.  This conference has been cancelled.]

November 1-4, 2018
Valparaiso University, Indiana US
CFP deadline: March 26, 2018
http://www.valpo.edu/tolkien/

Information from organizer Brad Eden:
This conference will be a reflection on all levels of Tolkien scholarship, with Tolkien scholars leading the discussion and the opportunity to present on your current research in this area, along with ideas and thoughts about the future of Tolkien scholarship, its challenges, and its opportunities.

The conference will feature plenary speakers Douglas A. Anderson, Verlyn Flieger, Robin Reid, Dimitra Fimi, Andrew Higgins, and Brad Eden. Johan de Meij has been commissioned to compose and conduct a new symphony titled Symphony #5 Return to Middle-earth.  More information on donating to help pay for this commission, as well as information on levels of donation in order to be listed in the premiere program are available on the website.

 

Tolkien Society Seminar

July 1, 2018
Leeds Hilton, UK
CFP deadline: April 6, 2018
https://www.tolkiensociety.org/events/seminar-2018/

The theme is: Tolkien the Pagan? Reading Middle-earth through a Spiritual Lens. This title has already sparked complaints, misunderstandings, and, sadly, insults on the Tolkien Society Facebook page, <*sigh*> thus proving the necessity and wisdom of the Society’s statement: “Considering the nature of the conference’s topic, delegates are encouraged to exercise restraint and be mindful of the individual beliefs of their fellow conference-goers.”  I don’t know the Tolkien Society organizers, but I’m fairly certain they are not trying to suggest that Tolkien was not a Christian, which a number of commentators seem to believe.

Perhaps the title of the Seminar is slightly misleading, but I would suggest that the intent of the Seminar’s scope is better understood by looking at the Tolkien Society webpage, which lists some possible, legitimate topics that should provide productive examinations of Tolkien’s fictional characters and the reception of his work among non-Christians:

  • Characters’ faith and devotion within Tolkien’s narratives
  • Non-Christian readings of Tolkien’s fiction
  • Neo-pagan movements based on Tolkien’s mythology
  • Invented religions in fantasy fiction

After all, it’s impossible to pretend that only Christians (or believers in the “one true religion” as a couple of Facebook commentators suggest) are the only ones who read and appreciate Tolkien around the globe.