I am halfway into the fall term — always a busy time with meetings, grading, and class preparations. It’s hard to find time for research — or blogging. But one thing that I like to do whenever I have a half hour or so is to review videos of past conference presentations or listen to chats with other Tolkien scholars and fans.
One benefit of the move to online or hybrid conferences has been that we have in many cases a recording of the talks that were given. If you missed one, or if you just want to refresh your memory, there is plenty to listen to.
Other recorded talks for registered attendees. Those who registered for certain conferences that included Tolkien sessions, such as the International Congress on Medieval Studies (Western Michigan University) in May, the Popular Culture Association conference in June, the International Medieval Congress (Leeds) in July, or Oxonmoot Online in September, will have had access to recorded talks for a certain time after each conference. Only the Oxonmoot talks are still available to registered delegates.
And if you’re not feeling up to listening to scholarly presentations, you can always tune in to the Tolkien Experience Podcast, which features a mix of scholars and fans chatting about their experiences with reading Tolkien’s works and what they mean to them today. I was interviewed by my friend, Dr. Sara Brown, in September. You can listen to my interview, TEP #38, here. Or select from a list of recent interviews here:https://luke-shelton.com/tolkienexperiencepodcast/
And something new to add to the roster: the Mythopoeic Society is sponsoring an online winter seminar on The Inklings and Horror: Fantasy’s Dark Corners on February 4-5. The Call for Papers is open until November 15 if you’re interested in presenting. You can find more information here: https://www.mythsoc.org/mythcon/ows-2022.htm
Conference season is upon us again, and just like last year’s sessions, the meetings I’m interested in are being held online. While nothing can replace sitting on a university patio in the summer sun drinking mead with new and old conference friends, we’ll have to make do with virtual reality. As I’ve said before, the one advantage is that we can listen to many more papers and “attend” many more conferences than we typically would have done, especially for those who do not have travel funding to go far afield to specialist meetings.
I think that in a fit of overcompensating for last year’s pandemic lockdown and research slowdown, I have offered to give three conference papers and one roundtable discussion this spring and summer. In order to make sure I remember where I want to be and when, I’ve compiled a list of conference sessions on Tolkien that I’m either involved in or just interested in attending from May to July.
Tolkien Symposium, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Coming up are the sessions which are usually held in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which begin with the one-day Tolkien Symposium, sponsored by the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group. These sessions will be held on May 8 from 10:30 a.m. EDT to 5:00 p.m. EDT, with 9 papers, rounding up the day with a musical performance. To see the full schedule, go to Tolkienists.org. The Symposium is free; email Dr. Christopher Vaccaro for the link [Christopher.Vaccaro@uvm.edu].
My paper is scheduled on May 8. Did you know that Tolkien published a play? And that it is his only piece of historical fiction? My talk is on “Tolkien the Playwright” and deals with his verse drama, “The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son.”
International Congress on Medieval Studies, University of Western Michigan
There are a number of sessions on Tolkien and medievalism at this conference, to be held May 10 – 15. Registration is required and so is the payment of a fee, scaled to your income. Each session includes two or more papers; below are the session topics and dates and times. For details about the presenters and their paper titles, go to the Tolkienists.org site or search the program and register at the ICMS site.
Monday, May 10, 1:00 p.m. EDT Tolkien and Manuscript Studies
Monday, May 10, 5:00 p.m. EDT Deadscapes: Wastelands, Necropoli, and Other Tolkien-Inspired Places of Death, Decay, and Corruption (A Panel Discussion)
Tuesday, May 11, 9:00 a.m EDT Christopher Tolkien, Medievalist (a roundtable)
Tuesday, May 11, 3 p.m. EDT Tolkien’s Chaucer
Thursday, May 13, 11:00 a.m. EDT Tolkien and Se Wyrm
Thursday, May 13, 3 p.m. EDT Tolkien’s Medicinal Medieval World: Illness and Healing in Middle-earth
Friday, May 14, 1 p.m. EDT Medieval World-Building: Tolkien, His Precursors and Legacies
Saturday, May 15, 11:00 a.m. EDT Tolkien’s Paratexts, Appendices, Annals, and Marginalia (a roundtable)
Popular Culture Association
From June 2 – 4, we have the PCA (Popular Culture Association) conference. Conference registration for non-presenters will open on May 1sthere. The Tolkien Studies Area is organized by Robin Reid.
Tolkien Studies I: Environmental Ethics and Leadership Theory in Tolkien’s Legendarium Wednesday, June 2, 11:00 a.m. – 12:20 EDT
Amber Lehning. Elf-Songs and Orc-Talk: Environmental Ethics in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, from Beowulf to Peter Jackson
Michael Joseph Urick. Theories of Leadership in Middle-earth
James Eric Siburt. Rendering Visible an Understanding of Power in Leadership in Tolkien’s Creation Mythology: Ainulindalë and Akallabêth
Tolkien Studies II: Multi-Disciplinary Approaches to Tolkien’s Legendarium Wednesday, June 2, 12:30-1:50 p.m. EDT
Meaghan Scott. The Nimrodel and Silverlode: Lothlórien as a Secondary World
Rebecca Power, Tolkien’s Penchant for Alliteration: Using XML to Analyze The Lay of Leithian
Anna Smol, Tolkien’s New Old English Genre: “The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth”
Kristine Larsen, “I am no man”: Game of Thrones’ Lyanne Mormont as Borrowed Tolkienian Canonicity
On June 2, I’ll be talking about what critic Chris Jones calls “New Old English” poetry and how Tolkien’s “Homecoming” and other poems can be viewed as part of an alliterative verse history of the twentieth century.
Tolkien Studies III: A Roundtable on Tolkien Reception Studies Wednesday, June 2, 2:00 – 3:20 p.m. EDT Presenters: Maria Alberto, Cordeliah G. Logsdon, Dawn Walls-Thumma, Cait Coker, Robin Anne Reid
Tolkien Studies IV: Race and Racisms in Tolkien’s Secondary and Our Primary Worlds Thursday, June 3, 3:30-4:50 p.m. EDT
Robert Tally. More Dangerous and Less Wise: Racial Hierarchies and Cultural Difference in Tolkien’s World
Alastair Whyte. Scales of malice: The banal evil of Middle-earth’s tyrant-history
Craig N. Franson. Where Shadows Lie”: Middle-earth and Neo-fascist Metapolitics
Robin Anne Reid. Race in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings And in Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor
M. Lee Alexander. “Heroes of the North”: Tolkien and Finnish Fandom
Dawn Walls-Thumma. The Pillar and the Vastness: A Longitudinal View of the Tolkien Fanfiction Fandom
Cordeliah G. Logsdon. “What care I for the hands of a king?“: Tolkien, Fanfiction, and Narratives of the Self
Maria Alberto. Mathom Economies? Fan Gift Culture and A Tolkien Fic Exchange Event
Tolkien Studies VI: A Roundtable on the Future of Tolkien Studies Friday, June 4, 11:00-12:20 EDT Presenters: Craig N Franson, Rebecca Power, James Eric Siburt, Amber Lehning, Anna Smol, Kristine Larsen
On June 4, I’ll be taking part in this roundtable to discuss the study of Tolkien and 20th and 21st century poetry.
Tolkien Studies VII: The Council of Tolkien Studies Friday, June 4, 12:30-1:50 p.m. EDT Presenter: Robin Reid.
Tolkien Society Summer Seminar
Looking ahead to July, we have the weekend Tolkien Seminar sponsored by the Tolkien Society, which always takes place just before the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds. This year, the Tolkien Society has expanded its Seminar series to include three seminars; one has already taken place last February, and the Summer Seminar is scheduled for July 3-4. The theme of the Summer Seminar is Tolkien and Diversity. The call for papers has just passed, so we still have to wait to see the schedule, but the place to keep up to date is on the Summer Seminar page. These talks will be free for all.
International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds
The IMC at Leeds will be online this year again. Registration is required, with a deadline of May 10, and the full program is available here. The organizer of the Tolkien sessions, to be held July 8-9, is Dr. Andrew Higgins, and you can find details and updates about the Tolkien papers on his blog, Dr. Wotan’s Musings.
J.R.R. Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches Thursday, July 8. 14:15-15:45 BST
Jan A. Kozak. Borders on the Otherworld: Warrior Maidens, Mounds, and Ancestral Swords in The Lord of the Rings and in the Old Norse Hervar Saga
Brian Egede-Pedersen. Flocking to the Serpent Banner – Decolonising The Lord of the Ring‘s Workshop’s Table-Top War Game
Joel Merriner. The Raven and the Map: Decoding Gyözö Vida’s A Gyürük Ura
Anna Smol. Tolkien’s Alliterative Styles in “The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son”
My talk on July 8 will analyze Tolkien’s expert composition of alliterative verse in various styles, from colloquial and informal to highly stylized verse, following the Sievers scheme of alliterative patterns.
Tolkien and Diversity: A Round Table Discussion Thursday, July 8. 19:00-20:30 BST Participants: Deidre Dawson, Sultana Raza, Christopher Vaccaro
Medieval Climates, Cosmologies and EcoSystems in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (I) Friday, July 9. 14:15-15:45 BST
Andrzej Wicher. The Importance of Geographical Directions in the construction of Tolkien’s Middle-earth
Aurelie Bremont. King Elessar in Middle-earth: Strawberry Fields Forever?
Kristine Larsen. “Carry on My Wayward Sonne (and Moon)”: Common Cosmological Quirks in the Norse Fimbul-Winter and Tolkien’s Early Legendarium
Gaëlle Abalea. Political Climate in the “The Fall of Numenor”
Medieval Climates, Cosmologies and EcoSystems in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (II) Friday, July 9. 16:30-18:00 BST
Helen Lawson. The Myth of the Mother – Retracing the Roots of Motherhood in Tolkien’s Decaying Middle-earth
Sara Brown. Situating Middle-earth: Reconsidering Tolkien’s Relationship with the Landscape
Andrew Higgins. Language Invention, Climate and Landscapes in Tolkien’s GnomishLexicon
Sultana Raza. How Alan Lee’s Landscapes Outline the Climate of Plot and Tolkien’s Mind-scapes
There will also be a Tolkien Sessions business meeting at some point during the conference week.
Trying to work out time zones in your area? This has become an important question with these online sessions around the world. I have found this Time Zone Converter to be very handy when trying to figure out what time of day a virtual paper in another country will be given, and you can find lots of other guides and converters online.
Tolkien conference sessions don’t end with the IMC at Leeds in early July. There is more to come later this summer and fall — such as Mythcon and Oxonmoot. Stay tuned for more details later this summer, and feel free to point out in the comments other conferences this May – July season that you’re interested in.
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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Andrew Higgins (email@example.com) 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.
It’s going to be a busy week coming up in Kalamazoo Michigan for Tolkien scholars. The Tolkien at Kalamazoo group, led by Chris Vaccaro and Yvette Kisor, is planning what has now become an annual symposium one day ahead of the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University. The Symposium, to be held off campus on Wednesday, May 8th, features a day of papers, some music, and a free screening in the evening of the new Tolkien biopic.
Following the Tolkien Symposium, the Medieval Congress kicks into high
gear starting on Thursday, May 9th, with several Tolkien sessions organized by
Tolkien at Kalamazoo and other departments or groups.
I used to compile this schedule to keep track of all the papers I wanted
to hear. I’m not going to Kalamazoo this year, but it’s still intriguing to see
what topics people are working on. Take a look if you’re curious, or plan your
schedule if you’re going!
Tolkien at Kalamazoo Symposium
Wednesday, May 8th Kazoo Books [2413 Parkview Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008]
12:00 – 1:00 Reconstructing the library of Michael H.R. Tolkien (1920-84) Brad Eden
– 1:30 Queer Hobbits: Language for the Strange,
the Odd, and the Peculiar in Tolkien‘s The
Lord of the Rings Yvette Kisor
– 2:00 Who maketh Morwinyon, and Menelmacar,
and Remmirath, and the inner parts of the south (where the stars are strange): Tolkien’s Astronomical Choices and
the Books of Job and Amos Kristine Larsen
Tolkien’s Early Para-Texts; A
Lit and Lang Exploration of The Heraldic Devices of Tol-Etherin
2:30 – 3:00 BREAK / Maidens of Middle-earth IX (music) Eileen Moore
– 3:30 The Grisaille Havens, Verdaille Dragon,
and Brunaille Lands: Brushwork in Tolkien’s Watercolors
–4:15 Marquette’s Tolkien Manuscripts in a Digital
Bill Fliss and John Rateliff
“Dreamlike it was, and yet no dream:”
Faramir’s Vision of the Passing of Boromir
Vickie Holtz Wodzak
A SELECT SCREENING OF TOLKIEN (FOX SEARCHLIGHT, 2019) 6:00 pm (Seating at 5:30!) AMC, 10 Portage Street. FREE
[EDIT May 5]: If you would like to attend the movie screening, you have to give your name to the organizer Chris Vaccaro before 5:30 that evening. You can email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Congress on Medieval Studies, Thursday, May 9 – Sunday, May 12
Thursday 10:00 a.m. Session 17 FETZER 2016 Misappropriations of Tolkien’s medievalism (a roundtable) Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo Organizer: Christopher Vaccaro, Univ. of Vermont Presider: Richard West, Univ. of Wisconsin–Madiso
A roundtable discussion with Leigh Smith, East Stroudsburg Univ.; Robin Anne Reid, Texas A&M Univ.–Commerce; Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State Univ.; Anna Czarnowus, Univ. of Silesia; Stephen Yandell, Xavier Univ.
Thursday 1:30 p.m. Session 64 FETZER 2016 Tolkien and Medieval Constructions of Race Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo Organizer: Christopher Vaccaro, Univ. of Vermont Presider: Deidre Dawson, Independent Scholar
Sun-Soot: Ragnarok and the Servants of Sauron Larry J. Swain, Bemidji State Univ. Medievalist, Modernist, and Postmodernist Readings of Tolkien’s constructions of Race Robin Anne Reid, Texas A&M Univ.–Commerce Jihad / Crusade or Race War? The News from the Battle of Helm’s Deep Michael A. Wodzak, Viterbo Univ.
Thursday 3:30 p.m. Session 112 FETZER 2016 Tolkien and Temporality: Medieval Constructions of Time Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo Organizer: Christopher Vaccaro, Univ. of Vermont Presider: Brad Eden, Independent Scholar
Of Niggle and Ringwraiths: Tolkien on Time and Eternity as the Deepest Stratum of His Work Robert Dobie, La Salle Univ. Tolkien’s Anglo-Saxon Women: A Journey into the Medieval through the Modernity of Middle-Earth Annie Brust, Kent State Univ./Kenston High School The Eschatological Catholic: J. R. R. Tolkien and a Multi-Modal Temporality Stephen Yandell, Xavier Univ.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. Session 350 FETZER 2016 Medieval Song, Verse, and Versification in Tolkien’s Works Organizer: Annie Brust, Kent State Univ. Presider: Annie Brust
Noldorin and Sindarin Verse in the Lord of the Rings Eileen Marie Moore, Cleveland State Univ. Boethian Philosophy and Splintered Music: Decay through Time in Tolkien’s Legendarium Brad Eden, Independent Scholar Tolkien, the Beowulf-Poet, and the Phenomenology of Song and Identity Paul Fortunato, Univ. of Houston-Downtown
Saturday 12:00 noon Tolkien at Kalamazoo Business Meeting Bernhard 211
Saturday 1:30 p.m. Session 397 BERNHARD BROWN & GOLD ROOM The Medieval Roots of Tolkien’s The Fall of Gondolin Organizer: William Fliss, Marquette Univ. Presider: William Fliss
Four Brethren Heroes of the Gondolindrim: Egalmoth, Ecthelion, Glorfindel, and Legolas: A Mythic and Linguistic Exploration Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar “Ic eom sæliden”: Medieval Romance Motifs in Tolkien’s Fall of Gondolin John R. Holmes, Franciscan Univ. of Steubenville From the Deeds of the Youth to the Arrival of a King Anne Reaves, Marian Univ.
Saturday 3:30 p.m. Session 449 BERNHARD BROWN & GOLD ROOM Tolkien’s Legendarium and Medieval Cosmology Sponsor: History Dept., Texas A&M Univ.–Commerce Organizer: Judy Ann Ford, Texas A&M Univ.–Commerce Presider: Judy Ann Ford
“It Lies Behind the Stars”: Situating Tolkien’s Work within the Aesthetics of Medieval Cosmology“ Connie Tate, Texas A&M Univ.–Commerce Cynewulf, Copernicus, and Conjunctions: The Problem of Cytherean Motions in Tolkine’s Medieval Cosmology” Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State Univ. Binding Faerie with the Chains of Time: Tolkien’s Failure to Finish The Silmarillion John D. Rateliff, Independent Scholar
Sunday 8:30 a.m. Session 509 FETZER 2016 The Legacy of Tolkien’s Medievalism in Contemporary Works Sponsor: Tales after Tolkien Society Organizer: Geoffrey B. Elliott, Independent Scholar Presider: Geoffrey B. Elliott
Caines Cynne in Azeroth: Tolkien’s Medievalism in the Warcraft Series Benjamin C. Parker, Northern Illinois Univ. The Two Eyes of the Dragon: J. R. R. Tolkien’s Beowulf as an Introduction to English Literature in Academic Enviroments Isabella Aparecida Leite Nogueira, Univ. Federal de Juiz de Fora; Mariana Mello Alves de Souza, Univ. Federal de Juiz de Fora Diluting Divinity: Connecting Genesis to Diablo by Way of Numenor Rachel Cooper, Univ. of Saskatchewan
The two largest medieval conferences — in Kalamazoo and in Leeds — have upcoming deadlines for paper proposals. There are plenty of sessions for those involved in Tolkien studies. The International Conference on Medieval Studies has pre-approved sessions looking for participants. The International Medieval Congress in Leeds works differently; the organizer, Dr. Dimitra Fimi, has to submit abstracts for each proposed session and wait for approval.
New Voices and New Topics in Tolkien Scholarship (a roundtable)
The IMC takes place July 1-4, 2019 at the University of Leeds.
Deadline: September 1: ICMS in Kalamazoo
There are a number of options for Tolkien scholars in Kalamazoo. Dr. Chris Vaccaro and Dr. Yvette Kisor have volunteered to take over the organization of the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group, previously led by Dr. Brad Eden for several years. In addition to the three approved sessions sponsored by Tolkien at Kalamazoo, there are several other independent sessions, as well as a couple of sessions sponsored by the Tales After Tolkien Society.
Tolkien at Kalamazoo sponsored sessions: abstracts to Chris Vaccaro <email@example.com> or Yvette Kisor <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Tolkien and Medieval Constructions of Race: Paper session.
The question of Tolkien’s engagement in and use of medieval constructions of race represents a timely question, perhaps unfortunately so. Whether we consider the hierarchical structure of the created races of Middle-earth, the linguistic and cultural similarities between Dwarves and Jews, or his granting of eastern or African features to specific races such as the Easterlings or the Haradrim, we find Tolkien working with medieval constructions of race, such as the notion of the Saracen. This paper session invites considerations of Tolkien and medieval constructions of race.
Tolkien and Temporality: Medieval Constructions of Time: Paper session.
Given the presence of both immortal Elves and mortal Men in Middle-earth, time is experienced and represented in multiple ways. The timeline of history is expressed as consecutive ages tracing the emerging and residual dominance of two peoples, Elves and Men. This timeline of Arda moves from a creation to a final end, and in this teleological conception, medieval notions of time and history, particularly Christian notions, can be seen. This paper session encourages explorations of how medieval constructions of time enter Tolkien’s legendarium.
Misappropriation of Tolkien’s Medievalism: Roundtable/panel session
Many white supremacists love Tolkien. An uncomfortable statement, and certainly not the whole truth, but the reality is that self-identified white nationalists have embraced and appropriated aspects of Tolkien’s medievalism since the late 1930s. In many cases, these are misunderstood aspects, and such individuals are embracing a Middle Ages that never existed, but in the created world of Tolkien’s Middle-earth, it is more complicated. It is often the medieval-derived aspects of Tolkien’s creation that are most appealing to such groups and individuals. This roundtable invites participants to consider the misappropriation of Tolkien’s medievalism, from how and why it happens, to what aspects of Tolkien’s work seem to attract this and why, and finally how to respond to it.
More Tolkien sessions:
4. The Medieval Roots of Tolkien’s Fall of Gondolin. Organized by Bill Fliss, Marquette University. Proposals to William.Fliss@marquette.edu
The upcoming publication of Tolkien’s The Fall of Gondolin (August 2018) makes available what Tolkien called “the first real story of this imagined world” (Letter 163), the story of the fall of a great hidden Elven kingdom that occupied Tolkien throughout his life. It forms the basis for much of his early legendarium of Middle-earth and incorporates many aspects of medieval themes and topics. This paper session invites considerations of the medieval roots of Tolkien’s tale.
5. Tolkien’s Legendarium and Medieval Cosmology. Organizer: Judy Ford, Texas A&M Commerce. Abstracts to Judy.Ford@tamuc.edu
6. Medieval Song, Verse and Versification in Tolkien’s Works. Organizer: Annie Brust. Abstracts to email@example.com
Brad Eden has organized another one-day Tolkien Seminar on May 9th, the day preceding the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This event takes place in addition to the Tolkien sessions that will be part of the Congress. The Seminar will be held in downtown Kalamazoo at the First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo (345 W. Michigan Ave.), two blocks from the Radisson Downtown. Here is the list of presenters; look for a final schedule closer to May.
“Eomer gets poetic: Tolkien’s alliterative versecraft.” Luke Baugher, East Tennessee State University.
“‘The Cloud of Unseeing'”: myths transformed and pseudo-scientific interpretations of the Book of Genesis.” Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University
“Personal reflections and observations on the library of Michael H.R. Tolkien (1920-84).” Brad Eden, Valparaiso University
“Who is Mr. Bliss, and more importantly, what kind of concertina is he playing?: Filling a minor lacuna in Tolkien Studies.” Michael Wodzak, Viterbo University
“Tolkien’s meteorite.” John D. Rateliff, Independent scholar
“One Ring to Rule Them All: the ring motif in classical antiquity and the Middle Ages.” Sandra Hartl, Independent scholar
“Tolkien on ‘holiday.'” Andrew Higgins, Independent scholar
“‘The glistening of dew drops’: Tolkien, Hopkins, and inscape.” Vickie Holtz-Wodzak, Viterbo University
“The Tolkien Art Index.” Erik Mueller-Harder, Independent scholar
“‘Like yet unlike’: the uncanny and sodomitic in Tolkien’s Saruman.” Chris Vaccaro, University of Vermont
Performance of Maidens of Middle-earth VIII: Women of the Edain. Eileen Moore, composer, pianist, and soloist.
The program for the International Congress on Medieval Studies is now online, and there are numerous sessions for those interested in Tolkien and medievalism. I’ve copied these from the preview program; of course, you should read the final program to double check the accuracy of this list.
The Congress has been cutting back the number of sessions available to the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group, so to counteract that, a pre-conference Tolkien Symposium has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 10 in the Western Michigan University Library. I’ve previously posted the schedule, but a revised version is posted again below in case you’re planning to attend the ICMS and can add on the Symposium, which will occur on the first afternoon that the Congress opens its doors. The theme of the Symposium is Tolkien Anniversaries.
Please note: you will not find the Tolkien Symposium schedule in the Congress program. This Symposium is not connected with the Congress organization.
Tolkien Symposium. Wednesday, May 10. 1:00 – 5:00. Western Michigan University Library (revised schedule, April 19)
Kristine Larson, Ragnarok and the Rekindling of the Magic Sun
Sandra Hartl, The Ainur and the Greek Pantheon: From The Book of Lost Tales to The Silmarillion
Erik Mueller Harder, The river Swanfleet: A journey from the Misty Mountains to flat fenlands and half way back again; or, How the discovery of Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth by Blackwell’s Rare Books in Oxford extricates Pauline Baynes’ cartographic reputation from the marsh of Nîn-in-Eilph
Michael Wodzak, An Auto-Ethnographic Study of Bilbo’s Party
Andrew Higgins, Mapping Tolkien’s The Book of Lost Tales: Exploring ‘I Vene Kemen’ (‘The Ship of the Earth’)
Victoria Holtz-Wodzak, ‘On Golden Grove Unleaving’: Tolkien, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the Inscape of Middle-earth
Tolkien Unbound. Thursday evening, May 11. Kalamazoo College Recital Hall.
[This item added here Feb.2nd] Another event that will not appear in the Congress program is Tolkien Unbound, an annual night of entertainment that last year moved out of the Congress-approved sessions and into nearby Kalamazoo College, where it will be held again this year. The 2017 program features:
A dramatic reading of Leaf by Niggle, directed by Thom Foy Maidens of Middle-earth VII: Treaty Brides. A musical performance by Eileen Marie Moore.
ICMS sessions on Tolkien and on medievalism, May 11 -14.
Organization of this list: 1. sessions devoted entirely to Tolkien studies; 2. sessions that include Tolkien; 3. sessions on medievalism, starting with the ones sponsored by the International Society for the Study of Medievalism; 4. an invitation to a rogue workshop (also not in the official program) on Whiteness in Medieval Studies; and 5. Kristine Larsen’s Astrolabe Workshop
1. Sessions devoted entirely to Tolkien Studies
Friday 10 a.m.
348 VALLEY I HADLEY 102 “Eald enta geweorc”: Tolkien and the Classical Tradition Sponsor: Dept. of Religious Studies and Philosophy, The Hill School
Organizer: John Wm. Houghton, Hill School
Presider: John Wm. Houghton
The “Other” Classicism: Tolkien, Homer, and the Greek Novel. John R. Holmes, Franciscan Univ. of Steubenville
The Winnowing Oar: Odysseus, Frodo, and the Search for Peace. Victoria Holtz Wodzak, Viterbo Univ.
The Politics of Tragedy: Plato’s Athenian Atlantis, Tolkien’s Numenorian Atalante, and the Nazi Reich. Joshua Hren, George Fox Univ.
J.R.R. Tolkien and Plato’s Timaeus. Christopher T. Vaccaro, Univ. of Vermont
Saturday noon: Tolkien at Kalamazoo business meeting. Bernhard 106
Saturday 1:30 402 FETZER 1010 Tolkien and Language Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Organizer: Brad Eden, Valparaiso Univ.
Presider: Brad Eden
“O’er the Moon, Below the Daylight”: Tolkien’s Blue Bee, Pliny, and the Kalevala. Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State Univ.
Music: The One Language in Which the Noldor Were Not Fluent. Eileen Marie Moore, Cleveland State Univ.
Elvish Practitioners of the “Secret Vice.” Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar
Tolkien and Constructed Languages. Dean Easton, Independent Scholar
Saturday 3:30 454 FETZER 1010 Asterisk Tolkien Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Organizer: Brad Eden, Valparaiso Univ.
Presider: Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State Univ.
The “Third Spring”: New Discoveries and Connections. Brad Eden
“He came alone, and in bear’s shape”: Tolkien’s Attempt at Correcting the Thwarting of Bodvar Bjarki. Michael David Elam, Regent Univ.
Landscape as Character in The Lord of the Rings. Robert Dobie, La Salle Univ.
Tolkien’s Monsters: An Asterisk in his Translation of Beowulf. Yvette Kisor, Ramapo College
2. Sessions that include Tolkien
Thursday 7:30 p.m.
161 BERNHARD 210 The Teaching of Old English (A Roundtable) Sponsor: Old English Forum, Modern Language Association
Organizer: Matthew T. Hussey, Simon Fraser Univ.
Presider: Robin Norris, Carleton Univ.
A Course in Beowulf and Tolkien. Paul Acker, St. Louis Univ.
Teaching Old English in History of the English Language. Heide Estes, Monmouth Univ.
Assignments to Enliven a Dead Language. Jacqueline A. Fay, Univ. of Texas–Arlington
An Anglo-Saxon Sampler. Damian Fleming, Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ.–Fort Wayne
Material Culture and Old English Pedagogy. Breann Leake, Univ. of Connecticut
Reading Like Anglo-Saxons. Erica Weaver, Harvard University
It’s a Miracle! The Harlotry Players, Univ. of Michigan–Ann Arbor
Cooch E. Whippet (Farce of Martin of Cambray). Radford Univ.
$15.00 General Admission. $10.00 presale through online Congress registration
Shuttles leave Valley III (Eldridge-Fox) beginning at 7:15 p.m.
A triple bill featuring a Tolkien fairy tale staged in a medieval style, a florilegium of fakery from the Harlotry Players, and a filthy French farce.
Saturday 1:30 434 SCHNEIDER 2355 Teaching the Edda and Sagas in the Undergraduate Classroom: Strategies and Approaches (A Roundtable) Organizer: Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar, Grand Valley State Univ.
Presider: Rachel S. Anderson, Grand Valley State Univ.
Using Tolkien as a Gateway to the Edda and Sagas in the Undergraduate Classroom. Lee Templeton, North Carolina Wesleyan College
“I advise you, Loddfafnir, to take this council”: Teaching College Writing and Research Using the Eddas. Gregory L. Laing, Harding Univ.
Teaching Germanic Mythology 101. Johanna Denzin, Columbia College
Material Culture and Norse Mythology. Ilse Schweitzer VanDonkelaar
3. Sessions on medievalism
International Society for the Study of Medievalism
157 BERNHARD 204 Performing Medievalisms (A Roundtable) Sponsor: International Society for the Study of Medievalism
Organizer: Amy S. Kaufman, Middle Tennessee State Univ.
Presider: Carol L. Robinson, Kent State Univ.–Trumbull
The One True Hero: Performing Medievalism in ABC’s The Quest Susan Aronstein, Univ. of Wyoming
Negotiating the Future: Subversive Southern Medievalism in The House behind the Cedars. Alexandra Cook, Univ. of Alabama
“An Indifferent Nebula”: Fantasy Role-Playing Games, Leisure Culture, and the Simulated Middle Ages. Gerald Nachtwey, Eastern Kentucky Univ.
Playing Chaucer: Performance, Adaptation, and Its Importance in Fandom in Medieval Studies. Hillary Yeager, Middle Tennessee State Univ.
Habits and Habitus: The Western Martial Arts Revival and Embodied Hermeneutics. Robert Rouse, Univ. of British Columbia
Friday 10:00 218 BERNHARD BROWN & GOLD ROOM The United States of Medievalism Sponsor: International Society for the Study of Medievalism
Organizer: Susan Aronstein, Univ. of Wyoming
Presider: Susan Aronstein
Philadelphia’s Medievalist Jewels: Bryn Athyn Cathedral and Glencairn. Kevin J. Harty, La Salle Univ.
The Vikings are Due on Main Street: Norse Incursion into Minnesota’s Literary Imagination. Glenn Davis, St. Cloud State Univ.
Robin Hood’s Greenwood in Texas: Sherwood Forest Faire. Lorraine Kochanske Stock, Univ. of Houston
Orlando: Theme Park Medievalisms. Tison Pugh, Univ. of Central Florida
Las Vegas: Getting Medieval in Sin City. Laurie A. Finke, Kenyon College; Martin B. Shichtman, Eastern Michigan Univ.
Friday 1:30 270 BERNHARD 208 Medievalism and Immigration I Sponsor: International Society for the Study of Medievalism
Organizer: Amy S. Kaufman, Middle Tennessee State Univ.
Presider: Pamela J. Clements, Siena College
Images of Immigration and Notions of Nation in Early Modern Medievalism. Sarah A. Kelen, Nebraska Wesleyan Univ.
Medieval Religion in New France: Marie de l’Incarnation and the Ursuline Nuns of Québec. Nancy Bradley Warren, Texas A&M Univ.
Arthur Hugh Clough’s Mari Mango, or, How to “Victorianize” The Canterbury Tales. William C. Calin, Univ. of Florida
Friday 3:30 329 BERNHARD 208 Medievalism and Immigration II Sponsor: International Society for the Study of Medievalism
Organizer: Amy S. Kaufman, Middle Tennessee State Univ.
Presider: Elizabeth Wawrzyniak, Marquette Univ.
Medievalism, Brexit, and the Myth of Nations. Andrew B. R. Elliott, Univ. of Lincoln
“I’m 20% Viking”: Englishness, Immigration, and the Public Reception of Historical DNA. Michael Evans, Delta
Other sessions on medievalism
Friday 10:00 190 SCHNEIDER 1225
Growing Up Medieval: The Middle Ages in Children’s and Young Adult Literature Sponsor: Tales after Tolkien Society
Organizer: Helen Young, Univ. of Sydney
Presider: Geoffrey B. Elliott, Independent Scholar
The Dream Frame of Baum’s Wizard of Oz. William Racicot, Independent Scholar
Women Piercing through the Medieval Fantasy Genre: A Look at Tamora Pierce’s Influence on Women in Medieval Fantasy. Rachel Cooper, Univ. of Saskatchewan
Heralds of the Queen: Upholding and Subverting the Medieval Ideal through
Girl Power, Sexuality, and le Merveilleux in Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar Series Carrie Pagels, St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame
389 BERNHARD 210 Atmospheric Medievalisms/Medieval Atmospheres (A Roundtable) Sponsor: postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies Organizer: Myra Seaman, College of Charleston
Presider: Myra Seaman
Anglo-Saxon Atmospheres. Edward J. Christie, Georgia State Univ.
The Water Subtext of The Book of the Duchess. Brantley L. Bryant, Sonoma State Univ.
An Atmosphere of Anxiety in Late Medieval English Drama. Christina M. Fitzgerald, Univ. of Toledo
The Air of Fiction. Julie Orlemanski, Univ. of Chicago
Racialized Sound. Molly Lewis, George Washington Univ.
Airing Out the Senses. Richard Newhauser, Arizona State Univ.
440 BERNHARD 209 Medievalism and Pedagogy Sponsor: Medieval Association of the Midwest (MAM) Organizer: Audrey Becker, Marygrove College
Presider: Audrey Becker
Play, Games, and the Medieval World: Teaching Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The White Company. Robert Sirabian, Univ. of Wisconsin–Stevens Point
Teaching Westeros: Medieval Studies, Medievalism, and George R. R. Martin. Carol Jamison, Armstrong State Univ.
“Medieval” Rhetoric, ISIS, and the Syrian Refugee Crisis: A Lesson for Teaching Political Medievalisms in the Undergraduate Classroom. Erin S. Lynch, Medieval Institute, Western Michigan Univ.
“Have you ever heard of Robin Longstride?”: Anachronism, Authenticity, and Teaching Robin Hood. Christian Sheridan, Bridgewater College
Sunday 8:30 a.m. 527 BERNHARD 158
Medievalism and Disability (A Roundtable) Sponsor: Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages
Organizer: Joshua Eyler, Rice Univ.
Presider: John P. Sexton, Bridgewater State Univ.
Urs Graf ’s Daughter Courage: Violence and Disability in Late Medieval Europe. Jess Genevieve Bailey, Univ. of California–Berkeley
A Visual Database for Medieval Disability. Christopher Baswell, Barnard College
Impaired in Camelot: An Analysis of Ableism in Hal Foster’s Prince Valiant. Tirumular Narayanan, California State Univ.–Chico
Trope or Truth? Medievalism and the Ubiquity of Disability. Kisha G. Tracy, Fitchburg State Univ.
Life Was Like That: The Grotesque Medieval in the Modern Imagination. Elizabeth Wawrzyniak
Sunday 10:30 549 SCHNEIDER 1225 Settlement and Landscape II: Textual Approaches to the Medieval in the Modern Organizer: Vicky McAlister, Southeast Missouri State Univ.; Jennifer L. Immich, Metropolitan State Univ. of Denver
Presider: Jennifer L. Immich
Approaching the Medieval in Comic: How the Adventures of an Arthurian Knight are Appropriated for a Contemporary Audience. Annegret Oehme, Univ. of Washington–Seattle
Hive Minds: Interdisciplinarity in Research and Pedagogy. Lahney Preston-Matto, Adelphi Univ.
America’s “Poisoned Landscape”: Medievalism and the Alt-right. Mary A. Valante, Appalachian State Univ.
Finally, I’m signal-boosting this workshop and invitation:
4. Rogue Workshop (not in the official program)
Saturday, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Fetzer 1005
From In the Middle: Whiteness in Medieval Studies: a rogue workshop on racial politics that will explore how medievalists in all areas of study can be effective allies for diversity and inclusion within our institutions and across our field.
5. Kristine Larsen’s Astrolabe Workshop
[This item added here Feb. 2] Tolkien scholar and astronomer Kristine Larsen has run a very popular astrolabe workshop for several years now at the Congress, and she’s at it again this year.
Friday 9:30 p.m. A Hands-On Introduction to Astrolabes: Valley III Eldridge 309
Calculating Traditional Prayer Times in the Christian Monastery (A Workshop)
Organizer: Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State Univ.
Presider: Kristine Larsen
A hands-on workshop on the use of a medieval astrolabe to calculate the Christian monastery’s traditional times of prayer. The first 50 participants will receive a cardboard astrolabe that can be taken home.
Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed something that belongs in this list. I’m not planning to go to Kalamazoo this year, but, my friends, please blog and tweet all kinds of reports from these sessions! And have an extra dance for me.
Note: This post was edited on February 2nd to add information on the Tolkien Unbound session, listed above, and on item 5. Kristine Larsen’s Astrolabe Workshop
The approved sessions for Kalamazoo (the International Congress on Medieval Studies) have just been announced. In spite of very well attended sessions in the past and plenty of paper submissions, the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group has once again been reduced by the conference organizers, as have other groups attending the Congress. For 2017, only two sessions were approved for the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group, and one other as a separately-sponsored session. The ICMS organizers seem determined to downsize their conference, a process that has been ongoing for a few years now. As far as I know, those proposing sessions are not given explanations for the selection or rejection of their submissions, leaving everyone to guess which topics might “go” and which might be turned down every year — and how many might be allowed.
This session will explore Tolkien’s contributions as a philologist of both early languages as well as the creation of his own languages.
This session will examine various threads and tangents related to Tolkien studies and research. This may include papers on influences, lacunae, and other related topics important to the field.
The deadline for submission of proposals is September 1, 2016 to Dr. Brad Eden at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Brad.
The Hill School session
“Eald enta geweorc”: Tolkien and the Classical Tradition
“Finnish,” J. R. R. Tolkien famously commented, “nearly ruined my Honor Mods”: but even a bottom-of-the-barrel Second on the first examination in Litterae Humaniores in 1913 reflects a considerable depth of classical learning by our standards a century later. Despite his academically dangerous attraction to the northern fringes of Europe, Tolkien’s scholarly and literary projects could no more escape the intellectual relics of Greco-Roman civilization than could the Anglo Saxons whose landscape still showed its physical ruins, the “old work of giants.” This session seeks papers which will consider Tolkien the medievalist as receiver and transmitter of the classical heritage.
organizer: John Wm. Houghton The Hill School
Dept. of Religious Studies and Philosophy
717 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
Anyone thinking of submitting a proposal to these or any other sessions should read the information on the conference website about the forms that need to be sent in with abstracts. You can also contact the session organizers for information.
Every year at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group sponsors a reader’s theatre event and a musical entertainment. This year’s Tolkien Unbound session will take place off campus. If you’re going to Kalamazoo, here is the event information from organizer Brad Eden:
SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2-5 P.M.
CONNABLE RECITAL HALL, FINE ARTS BUILDING
(5 minutes from Bernhard Hall)
Reader’s Theatre performance of
Maidens of Middle-earth VI: Mothers of the Half-Elven
New Song Cycle by Eileen Marie Moore
Lúthien’s Lullaby (poem by Jane Ellen Louise Beal)
Idril Celebrindal (poem by Eileen Marie Moore)
Lost (poem by Anne Reaves)(story of Mithrellas, the Silvan elf-maid)
Elwing in Travail (poem by Candace Benefiel)
Celebrían–Moon’s Daughter (poem by James Vitullo)
Arwen Undomiel (poem by Edward L. Risden)
Directions from Bernhard Hall
1) follow W. Michigan Ave and take left onto Monroe St.
2) follow Monroe St. and take right onto Academy St.
3) follow Academy St. and take left onto Thompson St.
4) Connable Recital Hall, Fine Arts Building, Kalamazoo College is at the corner of Academy and Thompson Sts.
Car rides will also be available from 1:15-1:45 from Bernhard Hall, and back again after the performance. Rides will be arranged at the Tolkien at Kalamazoo business meeting on Saturday, May 14, noon, Bernhard 212.