Chrononormativity and queer time: Crossing temporal borders in Tolkien’s Middle-earth

— Yvette Kisor, Professor of Literature, Ramapo College of New Jersey

Paper given 6 July 2022 at IMC 2022 Session 1133

Borders are most frequently conceptualized in terms of space; however, this paper is concerned instead with temporal borders. Inspired by four related sessions from the 2021 IMC It’s a Queer Time: Trespassing the Boundaries of Chrononormativity’, which focused particularly on the parcelling of history through periodization and localization in given spaces, [which then] become boundaries and barriers to a more fluid understanding of the Middle Ages’, and posited that the Middle Ages is also a queer time, in its fluidity’, this paper seeks to apply these related concepts of chrononormativity, queer time, and the borders between them to Tolkien’s Middle-earth. It does this by considering the structures constructed to contain temporal history, such as Annals and Tales of Years, alongside experiences of time found in Tolkien’s work that push against that conception, most notably the concepts of time associated with the Elves.

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date recorded 📅2022-01-24
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