Calls for Papers on Tolkien for 2023

If you’re working on Tolkien, you might want to consider submitting a proposal for a talk at one of next year’s international medieval conferences. The deadlines are coming closer!

Call for Papers, due August 31, for the IMC (International Medieval Congress) at the University of Leeds. Papers can be delivered in person or online. The conference will run from July 3-6, 2023. You can find the descriptions of proposed sessions and contact information here. The proposed sessions are:

  • Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches
  • Tolkien’s Medieval Entanglements
  • Tolkien’s Work and Academic Networks at Leeds
  • New Work and Methods in Tolkien Research – Making the Links
  • Dis-entangling the Second Age of Middle-earth
  • The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power and Questions of Adaptation and Authenticity (a roundtable)

Call for Papers, due September 15, for the ICMS (International Congress on Medieval Studies) at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. The conference will take place May 11-13, 2023. The following are approved sessions:

  • Medieval Elements in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Roundtable): In-Person Session

The upcoming Amazon Prime series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, due to premiere in September 2022, explores the Second Age of Middle-earth. The announcement of the series, followed by the release of images and a trailer, has suggested that the world constructed by the show contains a number of elements that appear to draw on the Middle Ages. This roundtable invites contributions that consider the medieval elements in the series, both elements of design and narrative, and including structures of society, government, and relations among societies.

  • Christopher Tolkien: Medievalist Editor of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Legendarium (Paper Session): In-Person Session

The publication of The Great Tales Never End: Essays in Memory of Christopher Tolkien in September 2022 affords us an opportunity to investigate the work of Christopher Tolkien as editor. Edited by the Bodleian’s librarian Richard Ovenden and Tolkien Archivist Catherine McIlwaine and published by the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, this volume is well concerned with the work of reading and editing manuscripts. A medievalist by training, working in Old Norse texts, Christopher is best known as the editor of his father’s legendarium. This paper session invites contributions that consider the role of his background in medieval texts as editor of J. R. R. Tolkien’s manuscripts and that engage with the memorial volume The Great Tales Never End.

  • “Climate Change” II: Social, Ecological, Political, and Spiritual Shifts in J.R.R. Tolkien and Medieval Poets: Blended Session (co-sponsored with the Pearl-Poet Society; organized by Jane Beal)

J. R. R. Tolkien was a reader, translator, and teacher of medieval poetry in Old and Middle English as well as Old Norse, showing particular devotion to Beowulf and the works of the Pearl-Poet. Tolkien’s interpretations of medieval poetry deserve further investigation in terms of the theme of “climate change,” which can be explored in social, ecological, political, and spiritual terms by interested scholars submitting papers for our session. This session is the second in a two-part series, “Climate Change” I sponsored exclusively by the Pearl-Poet Society and this session sponsored jointly by the PPS and Tolkien at Kalamazoo.

Additional Tolkien Sessions:

Tolkien and Medieval Constructions of Race (A Roundtable): Virtual Session (sponsored by the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic, Univ. of Glasgow; Contact: Mariana Rios Maldonado). Description is here.

Tolkien and the Middle Ages: Tolkien and the Scholastics: In Person Session (sponsored by the D. B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership, Viterbo Univ.; Contact: Michael A. Wodzak)

All proposals must be made through the Congress’s Confex system. Please follow the instructions on the Congress’s Call for Papers carefully (

It’s too late to propose an academic paper for Oxonmoot, the annual event of the Tolkien Society, but you can register as an online delegate and listen to presentations and other events. Oxonmoot is only days away, taking place September 1 – 4. Your registration will also give you access to the presentation recordings for a certain amount of time. Of course, if you can get to Oxford, you can also register as an in-person attendee. More details, including a list of speakers, are available here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: