Mythcon 51: A virtual Halfling” Mythcon

51st annual Mythcon

Session 2

31 July 2021 18:00 utc — view in local time


    № 1: “Her enchanted hair”: Rossetti, Lady Lilith,” and the Victorian fascination with hair as influences on Tolkien

    Kathryn Colvin, University of Missouri

    The Victorian poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti appears upon first glance to be an unlikely inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium: though both were medievalists, Tolkien’s reputation for chaste prose contrasts sharply with Rossetti’s famously fleshly” work. However, a close reading of both — setting Rossetti’s poetry, particularly Lady Lilith” and its accompanying painting, alongside Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and posthumously published material from The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth — reveals a compelling and previously unexplored connection between the Victorian cultural mythology of magic hair (as epitomized by the hair-mad” Rossetti) and Tolkien’s detailed and often supernatural portrayals of women’s tresses. According to my research, I believe my paper (published in Mythlore issue 137, Fall/​Winter 2020) to be the first proposal of Rossetti as an influence on Tolkien, and also novel in its academic attention to Tolkien’s portrayals of women’s hair. One point at which Tolkien’s writing lets down its own figurative hair is in its sumptuous descriptions of female characters’ abundantly flowing locks, the desire they inspire in others, and even their weaponization: in his distinct and sensual attention to women’s hair, I assert that Tolkien was inspired by the Victorians in general, while his depictions of the characters of Galadriel, Lúthien, and Melian are strikingly similar to the femme fatale Lady Lilith of Rossetti’s poetry and painting.

    № 2: The Mythopoeic fantasy and scholarly awards discussions: A roundtable

    David Lenander

    A roundtable discussion of the Mythopoeic Society Fantasy Awards, and Mythopoeic Scholarly Awards process. This Roundtable is also for discussing any recent books that may or may not have been considered on the preliminary Awards list, and which set the stage for this year’s finalists (as yet unknown!). Everyone is welcome to join in with their responses to books mentioned or other outstanding, Awards-worthy books.

    № 3: (un)Fair(ly) unknown: New and neglected Arthurian television programming: A panel

    Carl B. Sell, Assistant Professor, Social Work and Counseling Department, Lock Haven University; Richard Fahey, University of Notre Dame; Michael Torregrossa; and Rachael K. Warmington

    The Arthurian tradition abounds with Fair Unknowns, characters whose identity and true worth is revealed only slowly over the course of an adventure. In this session, we’d like to adopt the motif to look at new and neglected television series that make interesting use of the legend and deserve more recognition by scholars.

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    date recorded 📅2022-01-22
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