The regular International Medieval Congress in Leeds is cancelled, but it’s being replaced by a pared-down virtual IMC, or vIMC. While many presentations have been withdrawn, there is still a healthy program of sessions from Monday to Friday, July 6 – 10 being offered online. Please note that registration is free but closes this Friday, June 26.
Although it’s still a draft program that may change, currently two Tolkien sessions remain, with a truly international roster of speakers. And of course, the times listed are in British time, so you’ll have to calculate the equivalent in your own time zone.
Monday 6 July from 14:15-15:45:
BORDERS IN TOLKIEN’S MEDIEVALISM, I Organiser: Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar, Brighton Moderator: Kristine Larsen, Geological Sciences Department, Central Connecticut State University
The Liminality of Tolkien’s Non-Human Species Andrzej Wicher, Zakład Dramatu i Dawnej Literatury Angielskiej, Uniwersytet Łódzki
Warrior Maidens, Mounds, and Ancestral Swords in Lord of the Rings and in the Old Norse Hervarar Saga Jan A. Kozák, Institutt for lingvistiske, litterære og estetiske studier, Universitetet i Bergen
Foraging for Sources: Sir Orfeo as the Origin of Medieval Romance Topoi Present in Mirkwood Andoni Cossio, Facultad de Letras, Universidad del Pais Vasco – Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Vitoria-Gasteiz
Monday 6 July 16:30-18:00:
BORDERS IN TOLKIEN’S MEDIEVALISM, II Organiser: Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar, Brighton Moderator: Alaric Hall, Institute for Medieval Studies / School of English, University of Leeds
The Walls of the World and the Voyage of the Evening Star: The Complex Borders of Tolkien’s Medieval Geocentric Cosmology Kristine Larsen, Geological Sciences Department, Central Connecticut State University
The Limits of Subcreation Lars Konzack, Institut for Kommunikation, Københavns Universitet
A Preliminary History of Deadly Splinters Victoria Holtz Wodzak, School of Humanities, Viterbo University, Wisconsin
Registration will give you access to lots of other sessions on diverse medieval topics. And make sure to check out the book fair, which will have discounts from a number of publishers, as well as the other markets and presentations that will soon be confirmed. As registration is free, this is a great time to experience the conference for those who wouldn’t normally be able to attend, and it’s at least some consolation for those who were originally planning to go.
The city of Leeds will host a variety of Tolkien presentations this summer, from July 4th to the 9th, at both the Tolkien Society Seminar and the International Medieval Congress.
The Tolkien Society Seminar has just issued its call for papers, with the theme for this annual meeting being “Adapting Tolkien.” This year, the Society is extending the Seminar to an extra half day, so the full-day program will take place on Saturday, July 4, from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. and the following morning, Sunday, July 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. As the Tolkien Society page states, this is “a short conference of both researcher-led and non-academic presentations.” Suggested topics include the following (although papers do not have to be limited to these):
Adapting Tolkien’s works to stage and screen
Other adaptations: games, merchandise and Hobbit-hole hotels
The deadline for paper proposals in April 5; to submit, follow the link on the Tolkien Society Seminar page, which is where you can find more details about registration and location.
[May 12 edit: The Seminar will be presented online. Check for posts closer to the date with more details.]
The Seminar is held just before the International Medieval Congress opens on the following Monday, where a number of Tolkien sessions will be held during the conference week. See this post by Andrew Higgins, one of the co-organizers of those sessions, for titles, dates, and times of Tolkien papers at IMC 2020.
[edit May 12: IMC cancelled due to COVID-19. A pared-down version of the conference will go online. Please check later for posts with more details.]
Or you can check out the session details below from the program which has just been published online and mailed out to participants; these PDFs include session abstracts, which will give you a little more information about what the speakers intend to talk about:
I usually post full details of various conference programs closer to the time of the events, but for now, I’ll just post session titles for an overview of the upcoming Tolkien conference season this spring and summer. Details may change over the next few months, so always follow the links to the official programs for final details.
Tolkien at Vermont: April 4
April 4, 2020 University of Vermont, Burlington, VT Organizer: Dr. Chris Vaccaro
[May 12 edit: conference cancelled due to COVID-19]
Special theme: Tolkien and Classical Antiquities
The Tolkien in Vermont website describes the conference as “an annual weekend of academic papers, fireside readings, and bonhomie, bringing together seasoned academics, students, independent scholars, and the general public…” — very true, in my experience.
The program hasn’t been posted yet, but this 17th annual event at the University of Vermont has announced its keynote speaker, John Wm. Houghton, well known to Tolkien scholars for his various publications and editorial work. Go to the website for more details.
Tolkien at Popular Culture Association: April 15 – 18
April 15 – 18, 2020 Philadelphia, US Organizer: Dr. Robin Anne Reid
[May 12 edit: conference cancelled due to COVID-19]
May 7 – 10, 2020 Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
[May 12 edit: conference cancelled due to COVID-19]
For more details about these sessions, you can check the sneak preview of the Congress program. Registration opens in February.
Thursday, May 7. 10 a.m. Medieval World-Building: Tolkien, His Precursors and Legacies Sponsor: Fantasy Research Hub, School of Critical Studies, Univ. of Glasgow Organizer: Dimitra Fimi, Fantasy Research Hub, School of Critical Studies, Univ. of Glasgow; Kristine A. Swank, Univ. of Glasgow Presider: Kristine A. Swank
Friday, May 8. 1:30 p.m. Deadscapes: Wastelands, Necropoli, and Other Tolkien-inspired Places of Death, Decay, and Corruption (A Panel Discussion) Sponsor: Tales after Tolkien Society Organizer: Geoffrey B. Elliott, Independent Scholar Presider: Carrie Pagels, Independent Scholar
Saturday, May 9. 10 a.m. Tolkien and Se Wyrm Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo Organizer: Christopher Vaccaro, Univ. of Vermont Presider: Yvette Kisor, Ramapo College
Saturday, May 9. 1:30 p.m. Tolkien’s Paratexts, Appendices, Annals, and Marginalia (A Roundtable) Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo Organizer: Christopher Vaccaro, Univ. of Vermont Presider: Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State Univ.
Saturday, May 9. 3:30 p.m. Tolkien’s Chaucer Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo Organizer: Christopher Vaccaro, Univ. of Vermont Presider: Christopher Vaccaro
Sunday, May 10. 8:30 a.m. Tolkien and Manuscript Studies Organizer: William Fliss, Marquette Univ. Presider: William Fliss
For more details about these sessions, go to the sneak preview of Congress sessions. The final program will be posted on the ICMS site.
The special theme of the 2020 Congress is “Borders,” which explains why there are three sessions on Borders in Tolkien’s Medievalism. Registration opens on February 10th.
J.R.R. Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches Sponsor: School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow Organiser: Dr. Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar Moderator/Chair: Deirdre Dawson, Independent Scholar Session Day/Time: Monday 6 July (11:15-12:45)
New Sources and Approaches to Tolkien’s Medievalism – A Round Table Discussion Sponsor: School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow Organiser and Moderator: Dr. Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar Session Day/Time: Tuesday 7 July (19:00-20:00)
Borders in Tolkien’s Medievalism I Sponsor: School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow Organiser: Dr. Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar Moderator/Chair: Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University Session Day/Time: Thursday 9 July (9:00-10:30)
Borders in Tolkien’s Medievalism II Sponsor: School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow Organiser: Dr. Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar Moderator/Chair: Sara Brown, Independent Scholar Session Day/Time: Thursday 9 July (11:15-12:45)
Borders in Tolkien’s Medievalism III Sponsor: School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow Organiser and Moderator/Chair: Dr. Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar Session Day/Time: Thursday 9 July (14:15-15:45)
And looking ahead to the summer:
Mythcon: July 31-August 3
July 31 – August 3, 2020 Mythopoeic Society – Mythcon 51 Albuquerque, New Mexico
[May 12 edit: conference postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19]
Theme: The Mythic, the Fantastic, and the Alien
Registration is now open but the call for papers and program haven’t appeared yet.
Oxonmoot: September 3 – 6
The Tolkien Society – Oxonmoot September 3 – 6 St. Anne’s College, Oxford
[June 6 edit: Oxonmoot will be held online. Oxonmoot Online will take place September 18-20. Check the Tolkien Society website for more details as they become available.]
Registration is now open but a program will come later. The call for papers will open February 9th.
I’d be happy to hear about any conferences I’ve missed in the comments.
You can find the submission guidelines here. Different sponsoring groups have different deadlines. For example, the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group would like proposals by September 1st (tomorrow!) while the final deadline for ICMS proposals generally is September 15th — though no one is advised to wait that long. You can search the complete call for papers for the Congress here.
Tolkien at Kalamazoo is sponsoring 3 sessions:
Tolkien’s Paratexts: Appendices, Annals, and Marginalia (Roundtable) Following the medieval manuscript tradition, Tolkien’s literary fiction includes charts, maps, annals and other paratextual elements, many found in the Appendices. These elements deserve further critical study. Taking his father’s lead, Christopher Tolkien has been meticulously editing J.R.R. Tolkien’s manuscripts, supplying commentary and emendations concerning the many cruxes within the notes and typescripts. As medievalists, we will bring this often ignored back matter and marginalia to the foreground.
Tolkien and Se Wyrm Tolkien admits to being influenced by the dragons of Beowulf and the Volsungasaga. In those medieval epic texts, the dragon is monstrous but somewhat uncanny and familiar to human kind; distinctions are blurred. Something similar happens in Tolkien’s fictions, presenting exciting new considerations on the subject of monstrosity. Papers could explore the interdisciplinary relationships between the dragons of medieval legend and those of Middle-earth.
Tolkien’s Chaucer With the upcoming publication of Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer (edited by John M. Bowers, Oxford University Press, 2019) readers of Tolkien have the opportunity to explore how Tolkien read Chaucer as well as how that reading influenced his fiction. This paper session might explore fourteenth-century ideas of romance, neoplatonism, self in relation to society, constructions of gender, etc., as they related to Tolkien’s texts.
Proposals for the above sessions should be sent to:
Dr. Christopher Vaccaro Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also send Chris a proposal for the Tolkien Symposium which takes place on the Wednesday before the start of the conference. While the official CFP will come out later with a January deadline, the Symposium usually has an open theme and you can propose a paper now.
University of Glasgow, Fantasy Research Hub
Medieval World-Building: Tolkien, his Precursors and Legacies The recent volume Sub-creating Arda: World-building in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Works, its Precursors, and Legacies (2019), edited by D. Fimi and T. Honegger, examines the importance of invented story-worlds as spaces for primary-world social commentary, or as means for visualizing times and places not accessible to the reader. Tolkien was one of the foremost proponents of literary world-building, what he called “sub-creation,” and his Middle-earth has had unrivaled influence on subsequent world-building efforts. Yet, Tolkien’s own sub-creations were born from medieval story-worlds such as Beowulf,Kalevala, Volsungasaga, and others. This paper session examines the emergent, interdisciplinary research field of world-building through Tolkien’s Middle-earth, its medieval precursors, and/or its modern legacies. Papers might be on such topics as mythopoeia, design, systems of magic, geology, geography, cartography, cosmology, ecology, sociology, demographics, cultural anthropology, materiality, religion, philosophy, language—literally anything that goes into world-building—in conjunction with the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, or his medieval/medievalist precursors, or his worldbuilding legacy in literature or other fields. Papers on interdisciplinary topics are welcome.
Please send your proposals with “Tolkien World-Building” in the subject line to: Dimitra Fimi (Dimitra.Fimi@glasgow.ac.uk) AND Kris Swank (KSwank@pima.edu).
Marquette University Archives
Tolkien and Manuscript Studies J.R.R. Tolkien the scholar studied and taught medieval manuscripts. In imitation of these, Tolkien the author incorporated fictional manuscripts into his tales. He produced an enormous quantity of his own manuscripts in the course of crafting his Legendarium, which his son Christopher and others have closely examined. In his influential essay “The Great Chain of Reading: (Inter-)textual Relations and the Technique of Mythopoesis in the Túrin Story” (2002), Gergely Nagy explains that Tolkien’s mode of narrative development was akin to that of the medieval European tradition, writing, redacting, and expanding of numerous versions.
This session proposal invites papers on the role of manuscripts (as mise-en-page and mise-en-scène) in the life and works of Tolkien.
Contact: William Fliss Phone: (414) 288-5906 Email: email@example.com
Tales After Tolkien Society
Deadscapes: Wastelands, Necropoli, and Other Tolkien Inspired Places of Death, Decay, and Corruption (A Panel Discussion)
Legacies of Tolkien’s Whiteness in Contemporary Medievalisms (A Roundtable)
Contact: Geoffrey B. Elliott PO Box 292970 Kerrville, TX 78028 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
IMC Leeds July 6-9, 2020
The deadline for Tolkien proposals is September 6.
Sessions 1-3: Borders in Tolkien’s Medievalism – paper sessions These sessions will directly address the overall theme of the conference (“Borders”). Papers in these sessions can explore all aspects of borders in Tolkien’s works in its broadest sense. These can be explorations of geographical, conceptual, political and linguistic borders in Tolkien’s work as well as the role and impact of borders on the peoples and cultures of Tolkien’s world-building and in his other creative and academic explorations.
Sessions 4-5: Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches – paper sessions These sessions can accommodate wider topics and new approaches to Tolkien’s medievalism, ranging from source studies and theoretical readings, to comparative studies (including Tolkien’s legacy).
Session 6 – New Sources and Approaches to Tolkien’s Medievalism This roundtable discussion provides a forum to explore new sources and approaches to Tolkien’s work. This can explore new academic work drawn from the most recent published editions of Tolkien’s work including The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun (ed. Verlyn Flieger, 2017), The Tale of Beren and Lúthien (ed. Christopher Tolkien, 2017), The Fall of Gondolin (ed. Christopher Tolkien, 2018) as well as new academic works such as Tolkien’s Library – An Annotated Checklist (Cilli, forthcoming August 2019) and Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer (OUP: Bowers, forthcoming September 2019).
If you are interested in participating:
Please submit a paper/round table contribution title and abstract to Dr. Dimitra Fimi (email@example.com) and Dr. Andrew Higgins (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 6th September
Length of abstracts: 100 words. (Papers will be 15-20 minutes long while roundtable contributions will be 10-12 minutes long). With your abstract, please include name and details of contributor (affiliation, address, and preferred e-mail address).
A note on how Kalamazoo and Leeds organizers select papers differently: for the ICMS in Kalamazoo, the session topics are first approved by the Congress organizers and then the session sponsors select presenters to fill the sessions. At Leeds, the session sponsors select presenters and send in the full session proposal to the Congress organizers to await approval. Sometimes, sessions are not approved.
On the day before the Congress begins (Sunday 5 July), the Tolkien Society sponsors a Tolkien Seminar, a full day of presentations. The call for papers will be available later this year.
I was planning to be in Leeds today at the International Medieval Congress in order to attend the first sessions on Tolkien tomorrow, but bad weather diverted my flight, making me miss my UK connection, and landing me even farther away than where I started. So what do you do for an extra day stranded in a hotel room waiting for a rebooked flight? How about looking at Tolkien conference sessions coming up this summer in case you’re lucky enough to attend one of these events. Or if you’re not attending, you can see what people are working on and hopefully wait for the articles and books to come later.
The Leeds conference features 5 sessions on Tolkien. You can search through the huge online program, but it’s far easier to look at Dr. Dimitra Fimi’s blog, where she lists the speakers and papers in the sessions that she’s organized.
Another conference of note is Mythcon, taking place this year in San Diego from August 2 – 5. The scholar guest of honour is Verlyn Flieger. Keep an eye out for the program, as there are always sessions on Tolkien (and the Inklings).
The Tolkien 2019 conference promises to be a big event, with major speakers, artwork, music, and other evening activities. This event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Tolkien Society will take place in Birmingham, UK from August 7 to 11. You can find the featured speakers and the list of other speakers and their presentation titles here. I’ll have more to say about my own paper in a few weeks!
All of the presentations in Leeds were given to packed audiences, to the point that people had to sit on the floor in some sessions, and a few of the later panels had to be moved to larger rooms. Lots of interest in Tolkien! We’re hoping that the same number of sessions will be approved for next year’s IMC conference. (The Tolkien Society Seminar, on the other hand, will be suspended for next year, as attention will be focused on the big Tolkien 2019 conference in Birmingham later in the summer.)
From Leeds in the UK, Tolkien conference activity now moves to Mythcon 49 in Atlanta in the US, from July 20 to 23, with the theme “On the Shoulders of Giants.” The keynote speakers are Dr. Robin Anne Reid, the scholar guest of honour, and Donato Giancolo as the artist guest of honour. The Mythcon 49 Schedule page includes a list of speakers and topics. “What do you do with a drunken hobbit?” — you have to be there to find out!
This week, I received word from the International Medieval Congress in Leeds that my proposal has been accepted for one of the Tolkien sessions organized by Dr. Dimitra Fimi. My paper, “Tolkien’s Typological Imagination,” will be part of the first session on Memory in Tolkien’s Medievalism on July 2nd. We were only allowed a 100-word proposal, a difficult exercise in condensing ideas, and this is the best I could do:
In The Lord of the Rings, Sam suddenly recognizes that Frodo’s possession of Galadriel’s star-glass connects them to Eärendil’s history: “Why, to think of it, we’re in the same tale still!” Here, Tolkien dramatizes the link between “the memory of the past and the foreshadowing of the future that resides in all things” (Notion Club 178). Eärendil is the type of a sacrificing hero, reenacted by Frodo later in the course of linear time. I propose to discuss such examples of Tolkien’s typological imagination and how it shapes concepts of memory and history in his work.
Memory in Tolkien’s Medievalism I. July 2, 11:15 – 12:45
Memory in Tolkien’s Medievalism II. July 2, 14:15-15:45
“New” Tolkien: Expanding the Canon. July 2, 16:30 – 18:00
Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches, I. July 3, 14:15-15:45
Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches, II. July 3, 16:30 – 18:00
Tolkien in Context(s): a Round Table Discussion. July 3, 19:00 – 20:00
With the one-day Tolkien Society Seminar that usually precedes this conference, there should be plenty of talks on Tolkien to enjoy at the beginning of July in Leeds. I’ll post full details after the official IMC program comes out in a few months.
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 (email@example.com) 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).
The Tolkien meetings in Vermont, San Diego (the PCA/ACA), and Kalamazoo are now over and conference season is in full swing. Next stop, Leeds!
The Tolkien Society Seminar is held one day before the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, which also sponsors some Tolkien sessions. So, details about the Seminar first. I’m pleased to say that I’ll be attending for the first time and giving a paper.
The program is now on the Tolkien Society website. Registration starts at 9:00, with papers running from around 9:30 to 5:00, with the opportunity for a convivial gathering at a nearby pub afterwards.
The special theme of this year’s Seminar is “poetry and song.”
Brad Eden, The scholar as minstrel: Music as a conscious/subconscious theme in Tolkien’s poetry
Michaela Hausmann, Lyrics on Lost Lands – Constructing Lost Places through Poetry in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
Andrew Higgins, Poetry and Language Invention: The Interconnected Nature of Tolkien’s The Qenya Lexicon and His Early Poetry
Penelope Holdaway, Fair and Perilous: The Women of Tolkien’s non-Middle-earth Lays and Legends
Bertrand Bellet, Aurelie Bremont, Dimitra Fimi, Tolkien and Breton poetry: What layers lie behind Tolkien’s lays?
Stuart Lee, Tolkien and The Battle of Maldon
Kristine Larsen, “Diadem the Fallen Day”: Astronomical and Arboreal Motifs in the Poem “Kortirion Among the Trees”
Szymon Pindur, The magical and reality-transforming function of Tolkien’s songs and verse creations
Irina Metzler, Singing the World into Being: The Creative Power of Song in Tolkien’s Legendarium and Real-World Mythology
Massimiliano Izzo, In search of the Wandering Fire: otherworldly imagery in The Song of Ælfwine
Anna Smol, Seers and Singers: Sub-creative Collaborators in Tolkien’s Fiction.
International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds
The IMC is a huge conference that begins the day after the Tolkien Seminar. I won’t be able to attend this year, though for a happy reason: my family will be in the middle of a European vacation, and Leeds can only be a one-day stop for us. However, if you’re looking for presentations on Tolkien, there are four sessions this year organized by Dr. Dimitra Fimi. The following is an abridged version of the conference program; follow the links for more information on the speakers and for abstracts of the papers.
Session 242: J.R.R. Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches. Monday 3 July 14:15-15:45
Organiser: Dimitra Fimi
Moderator: Andrew Higgins
If you’re in the vicinity of Leeds, you can attend a number of Tolkien papers over the next few days. On Sunday July 3, the Tolkien Society Seminar will take place in the Hilton Leeds City. This one-day series of presentations focuses on the theme of Life, Death, and Immortality. You can read the full program here.
The Tolkien Society has cleverly scheduled the seminar a day before the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, which runs from July 4 to 7, so anyone who is around can attend the IMC sessions on Tolkien. You can explore the full IMC program here. I’ve copied below the information on the sessions on Tolkien, organized by Dimitra Fimi. Let me know if I’ve missed any others!
Oganiser: Dimitra Fimi; Chair: Chris Vaccaro
Monday 4 July 2016: 16.30-18.00
Abstract: This session will address the complexities of Tolkien’s modern Middle Ages. Andrew Higgins will explore Tolkien’s appropriation of Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon perceptions of the Finns in his legendarium. Aurélie Brémont will examine parallels between Tolkien’s and T.H. White’s medievalisms. Sara Brown will revisit Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings via the practice, philosophy, and symbolism of alchemy.
‘Those who cling in queer corners to the forgotten tongues and manners of an elder day’: J. R. R. Tolkien, Finns, and Elves
Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar, London
J. R. R. Tolkien and T. H. White: Modern Brits and Old Wizards
Aurélie Brémont, Centre d’Études Médiévales Anglaises (CEMA), Université Paris IV – Sorbonne
Stirring the Alembic: Alchemical Resonances in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth
Sara Brown, Department of English, Rydal Penrhos School, Conwy
and one more session (updated on July 2, thanks to Kris Swank):
Monday 4 July 2016: 19.00-20.00
Organiser and Chair Dimitra Fimi
Abstract This round table discussion will focus on works by J. R. R. Tolkien published during the last 12 months. Participants will comment on The Story of Kullervo, edited by Verlyn Flieger, a creative retelling of a tragic episode from the Finnish Kalevala; and A Secret Vice, edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins, an extended edition of Tolkien’s essay on invented languages together with new material on philology, contemporary language theories, and language as art.
Participants include Brad Eden (Valparaiso University), Kristine Larsen (Central Connecticut State University), and Goering Nelson (University of Oxford
I wish I could be there, but at least I’m hoping that we’ll see some blog posts and tweets to give us an idea of what was discussed (I’m looking at you, Dimitra, Andrew, Sara, and Aurelie!).