Tolkienists.org

Recent entries

A chronicle of recent news, blog posts, journal issues, book releases, and events of interest to those studying Tolkien and his works, set out by date and then by entry type.

Headshot of Erik Mueller-Harder near Christ Church College, Oxford
Erik Mueller-Harder

Tolkienists on Summer Holidays

Tolkienists } Erik Mueller-Harder | 17 May 2022

Friends, colleagues, & visitors,

tl;dr: Tolkienists is on a sabbatical. Please come back this September!


I have, as it turns out, over-committed. Tolkienists, together with the Tolkien Art Index, LR Citations, and TolkienMoot, is very important to me, and it is not going away.

However, I am having to put work on them on hold for a little while.

Some of you may know of the work that I’m doing this year for the Tolkien Archive at Marquette. This is an absolute dream job, and the work that’s happening there will have a direct and lasting effect on Tolkien Studies in general and LotR scholarship in particular. My involvement in this project is planned to continue through this August, and is taking most of my effort and attention right now.

I will also be travelling this summer to England and Scotland for three weeks, for the Tolkien Society Seminar, the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, the York Early Music Festival, and the Once and Future Fantasies conference hosted by the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow.

Those of you who know that I had Stage IV esophageal cancer a few years ago — necessitating radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and three extensive surgeries — will probably understand my delight at being able to travel and work to this extent. But by the same token I have to acknowledge that The Ordeal has left its marks in reduced stamina and mental acuity and the constant attention I need to pay to digestion and sleep. I find that I don’t always remember to make allowance for these new realities of my life.

Most all of these other commitments will wrap up by the end of the summer, and I’ll be thrilled at that point to welcome you back to Tolkienists. I have various Good Things planned:

  1. Dramatic improvements to LR Citations, including correlation of a few more paginations, integration of the First Edition of LotR, and more.
  2. Dramatic improvements to the Tolkien Art Index.
  3. Resumption of day-by-day coverage of Tolkienists’ blogs, articles, and seminar papers.
  4. A more intuitive site structure, and custom-designed icons and way-markers.

Finally, I would like to apologize to almost everyone who has written me in 2022. I have read your email, and in every case I plan to respond. Realistically, you may not hear from me until September — but rest assured that I am not ignoring you. If you need to reach me (and can live with a delayed response!), please send email to erikmh at the domain you’re visiting right now, tolkienists.org.

Have a lovely summer, everyone. I’ll see you this autumn!

— Erik

more ☞

6 July

Events

6 July 2022 10:00 utc — view in local time

IMC 2022: Borders, № 1033: Borders between life and death in Tolkien’s legendarium

Andrew Higgins, Organiser; and Sara Brown, moderator/chair

Papers in this session related to the thematic strand of the conference papers will explore themes around metaphysical borders and liminal spaces between life and death in Tolkien’s works and their influences.

full listing ☞

6 July 2022 12:15 utc — view in local time

IMC 2022: Borders, № 1133: Family, orientation, transgression, and crossing borders of Middle-earth

Andrew Higgins, organiser; and Andrew Higgins, moderator/chiar

Papers in this session will explore broader topics around different types of less evident borders found in Tolkien’s creative thought and writing. They can include orientations and borders that are encountered and crossed (or not) in various types of social interactions and relationships in Tolkien’s legendarium including social, linguistic, racial, and sexual.

full listing ☞

4 July

Events

4 July 2022 12:15 utc — view in local time

IMC 2022: Borders, № 141: J.R.R. Tolkien: Medieval roots and modern branches

Andrew Higgins, organiser; and Kristine Larsen, moderator/chair

This session will address wider topics and new approaches to Tolkien’s medievalism ranging from source studies and theoretical readings to comparative studies (including Tolkien’s legacy).

full listing ☞

4 July 2022 15:15 utc — view in local time

IMC 2022: Borders, № 241: Tolkien and Medieval poets: A session in memory of Richard C. West

Andrew Higgins, organiser; and Andrew Higgins, moderator/chair

This session is in memory of medievalist and distinguished Tolkien scholar who we sadly lost in 2020: Richard C. West. Richard wrote some of the most important and influential early scholarship on Tolkien including his seminal 1975 essay The Interlace Structure of The Lord of the Rings’ which demonstrated how the narrative interlace structure used by medieval authors influenced Tolkien’s work. In memory of Richard’s scholarship papers in this session will explore the influence and impact of works of medieval poetry and poets on the creative thought, process, and works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

full listing ☞

4 July 2022 20:00 utc — view in local time

IMC 2022: Borders, № 441: Tolkien as a Gateway to Interdisciplinary Teaching: A round table discussion

Andrew Higgins, organiser; and Andrew Higgins, moderator/chair

Participants include Deidre Dawson, independent scholar; and Dimitra Fimi, Senior Lecturer in Fantasy and Children’s Literature (English Literature), University of Glasgow.

This round table discussion will feature talks by teachers on how they have used the works of Tolkien to introduce and engage students with new fields of study and disciplines. Short papers and discussions will explore how teachers have used the works of Tolkien as a gateway for students to explore and become passionate about other areas of study.

full listing ☞

14 May

Events

14 May 2022 19:00 utc — view in local time

2022, № 394: C.S. Lewis and the Middle Ages I: Dante and the Lewis Circle (in honor of Marsha Daigle Williamson)

Joe Ricke, organizer; and Barbara L. Prescott, presider

[From draft program.]

full listing ☞

14 May 2022 21:00 utc — view in local time

2022, № 418: Medievalism in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-century literary and cinematic adaptations of Beowulf

Lorraine Kochanske Stock, organizer; and Lorraine Kochanske Stock, presider

[From draft program.]

full listing ☞

14 May 2022 21:00 utc — view in local time

2022, № 421: New readings of The Lord of the Rings

Luke J. Chambers, presider

[From draft program.]

full listing ☞

13 May

Events

12 May

Events

12 May 2022 13:00 utc — view in local time

2022, № 226: Tolkien and the Medieval Animal

Kristine A. Swank, organizer; and Kristine A. Swank, presider

[From draft program.]

full listing ☞

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