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A couple of conferences are coming up in the next few weeks with lots of discussion about a wide range of topics in Tolkien studies. Check out what people will be talking about in the Tolkien@UVM conference and the PCA Tolkien Studies area — or register and listen to the full sessions!

The 18th Annual Tolkien at University of Vermont conference

April 2, 2022 [hybrid conference]

You can register and download a full program here.

Keynote: The theme of this conference is The Idea of History in Tolkien’s Middle-earth and features Dr. Kristine Larsen as the keynote speaker. She will be talking about “Arda Remade: History and Twentieth-Century Cosmology.”

Other sessions:

Session I Tolkien and Narrativity [In-person]
“Narrative Voice and Differing Concepts of Evil in the Published Silmarillion.” Chris Craun
“The Forbidden Pool as a Garden of Eden Story in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.” Yvette Kisor

Session II Tolkien and the Literary Tradition [Virtual]
“The Good Pagan in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy.” Linsay Ragle Miller
“The Horrors of Intimate Evil in Tolkien’s Abandoned ’Novel’ The New Shadow.” Bo Kampmann Walther
“Tolkien, Cline, and the Quest for a Silmaril.” Tom Ue

Session III Theorizing Tolkien [Virtual]
“Lived Legendary War in Tolkien’s Fall of Arthur.” Brendan Anderson
“Tolkien and Nietsche’s Ubermensch.” Ali Mirzabayati

Session IV Undergraduate Voices [In-person]
Harry Driscoll. Bady Kaye. Mary McLellan. Kathryn Wyckoff

For more details about the schedule and registration, check out the website.

Popular Culture Association

April 13-16, 2022 [Virtual]

The late registration deadline is April 1 for anyone not presenting a paper at the conference. More information here. The following is a draft program – always check the final version on the PCA website for days and times. “Get-togethers” are more informal than the regular paper sessions.

Wednesday April 13: Tolkien Fanfiction Live Reading. Get-together. Chair: Maria Alberto

Thursday April 14: Literary and Cultural Studies Approaches to Tolkien
“Tolkien, Old English, and Identity.” Anna Smol
“Point of View and In-Universe Authorship of the ‘Silmarillion.'” Dawn Walls-Thumma
“The Deep Roots Untouchable by Frost: Romanticism in J.R.R. Tolkien.” Lily Tun
“From Mushrooms to Man-flesh: The Cultural Signficance of Food in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.” Sara Brown

Thursday April 14: Queer and Critical Race Approaches to Tolkien
“Hardly a word…unconsidered”: Un-Closeting Queer Desire in The Lord of the Rings through (Socio)linguistic Analysis: ‘Mate,’ ‘My/me Dear,’ and ‘Treasure.'” Olivia K. Burgham
“Wondered at this change”: Queer potential and telling silence in the relationship of Legolas and Gimli.” Hannah Mendro
“More Cannot Be Said: Using a Critical, Semi-Systematic Literature Review to Understand Academic Silence on the Queer Potential of Legolas and Gimli.” V. Elizabeth King
“Playing Back: LOTRO and Its Role in Deconstructing Tolkien.” Cordeliah G. Logson and Gideon Cooper.

Thursday April 14: Where to publish in Tolkien and Inklings Study. Get-together. Chair: Perry Neil Harrison

Friday April 15: Multidisciplinary Approaches
“Tolkien, Lovecraft, and Unknowable Evil.” Perry Neil Harrison
“Teamwork in Middle-earth.” Michael Joseph Urick
“Fantasy and Foucault: Teaching Tolkien in the Age of Jordan Peterson.” Christopher James Lockett
“A Tolkienian Pharmakon for Our Times.” Sonali Arvind Chunodkar.

Friday April 15: Roundtable on Teaching Tolkien
Chair: Robin Reid. Presenters: Maria Alberto, Leslie Donovan, Tom Emanuel, Christopher James Lockett, Anna Smol

Friday April 15: Business Meeting

Friday April 15: Race, Nationalism, Totalitarianism, Activism, and Tolkien
“Yellow, Black and White in Chinese Translations of Tolkien.” Eric Reinders
“Tolkien the Racialist and the Monstrous Races Tradition: Tartars, Muslims, and Jews.” Anna Czarnowus
“‘Of lesser and alien race’: Layers and influences of intertwined tyranny and racism in Middle-earth.” Alastair Whyte
“Whiskered Men with Bombs: Mythology, Middle-earth, and Modern Environmental Activism.” Amber Lehning

Friday April 15: Tolkien Live Reading. Get-together. Chair: Robin A. Reid

Saturday April 16: Roundtable on the Future of Tolkien Studies
Chair: Robin Reid. Presenters: Sara Brown, Leslie Donovan, Sonali Arvind Chunodkar, Andrew T Draper

As you might have noticed in the above program, I’m involved in two of the PCA sessions — so, back to work!