Tolkien Symposium 2021: Tolkien the Playwright

The Tolkien Symposium usually takes place in Kalamazoo, Michigan a day or two before the International Congress on Medieval Studies begins at the University of Western Michigan. This year, both events were held online, with the Symposium taking place on May 8. This year’s Symposium began with a memorial session dedicated to Tolkien scholar Richard West, who passed away earlier this year, and then continued with a day-long slate of presentations, including mine on “Tolkien the Playwright,” in which I discussed his verse drama, “The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son.”

You can watch the video recording of my talk here:

In the Q & A after my presentation, I mentioned that I would post my references here on my blog; I also mentioned that my co-authored article with Rebecca Foster would be available soon in the Journal of Tolkien Research. The best way to get a full list of our references (and to learn more about “The Homecoming”) would be to read our article, “J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Homecoming’ and Modern Alliterative Metre” which has now been published in the free and open-access JTR.

You can also watch most of the other Symposium presentations on the Tolkien Experience YouTube channel. The other available presentations are:

John Holmes, “The Imagined World and the Frame in Tolkien’s Art

Kris Larsen, “Seeing Double: Tolkien and the Indo-European Divine Twins

Annie Brust, “The Warrior Women of Beastly Exterior”

Kris Swank, “The Poetry of Geoffrey Bache Smith with special note of Tolkienian Contexts

Luke Shelton, “The Lord of the Rings, Young Readers, and Heroism

Eileen Moore, “Maidens of Middle-earth XI: Valier and Maiar

I’ll post more about our “Homecoming” article soon.

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