2021: St Anne’s College, Oxford, & on-line


5 September 2021 10:30 utc — view in local time


    № 1: The spirit of women in Tolkien’s Arda: The representation of love and female identity in Beren and Lúthien

    Ali Ghaderi, independent scholar

    Arda’s ladies have complex identities. Although they play a few crucial roles, they are by no means less influential than men in Arda’s history. Building on this and focusing on Beren and Lúthien’s story, I intend to address the representation of female identity in relation to the course of History’ Tolkien created. To do so, I will investigate the concepts of identity and love in Lúthien’s subjectivity under the paradigms introduced through Judith Butler’s feministic reading of Hegel’s view on love. Butler argues that the object of desire is born through performativity of its representation over time. Accordingly, I will argue that pairs of love/​loss and desire/​lack lead Lúthien to uncertainty, otherness, and ambivalence. In return, this transforms Lúthien’s journey into a representation of love and a path of desire for recognition. Consequently, this desire forges for her identity a great asset to exercise its power and freedom to define and shape the spirit of her age.

    № 2: The representation of human agency in Roverandom (1925)

    Gözde Ersoy, Assistant Professor of English Literature, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University

    John Clute devised his model of full-fantasy in 1997 and then updated it in 2011. According to him, there are four gradual phases in fantasy: wrongness, thinning, recognition, and return. Roverandom can be identified as a smaller scale portal-quest fantasy, whereby the fantastic appears through entries, negotiations, transitions, and personal dealings. In this quest, the goal for Rover is to regain the original dog size and qualities. Throughout the paper presentation, I would like to explain the transforming adventures of the novel with a fictionalized maturation framework developed by me. The name of the model is The Representation of Human Agency in Quest Fantasy Literature” (2016). Through drawing on from philosphy, psychology, sociology, and educational theories, it aims to outline the tracks and social integration processes within the adventurous journeys. Inspired by Clute’s model, the new model offers to sunstantiate the stages of self-growth within fantasy fiction novels.

    № 3: Same branch

    Timothy Tolkien, independent scholar

    An in-depth analysis of Tolkien family tree from a different perspective, exploring the history of the Tolkien family tree , how the name arrived in Britain, and the effects of association to J.R.R. Tolkien.

    № 4: The most dreaded question: Is light a wave or a particle (in Eä)?

    Aslı Bülbül, Postgraduate, University of Glasgow

    Among Tolkien’s inventions, light is one of the most intriguing imageries to be found in the secondary world. This paper answers the most classic question of physics about light, whether it is a wave or a particle, for the secondary world: this is by no means a physics article but a literary experiment welcoming a multidisciplinary approach. In a letter to his son Christopher, Tolkien mentions a sudden vision (or perhaps apperception)’ (99) he has in St Gregory’s church: he perceives the Light of God in which there is one small mote with which he identifies, but he also sees the connection between the Light and mote as one individual ray, which he describes as a line. This paper asserts that Tolkien regards light imagery in the primary world as both a wave and a particle, and introduces his observation into his secondary world: the unstoppable photons, which are particles forming light and also acting like waves in the primary world, reverberate in the form of the Flame Imperishable.

    № 5: Addenda: One Middle English manuscript and four editions of Medieval works known to J.R.R. Tolkien and what they reveal

    Andoni Cossio, PhD student, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea

    This paper proposes the addition of four items to Section A” of Oronzo Cilli’s Tolkien’s library: An annotated checklist (2019) and the inclusion of complementary information to two other entries after demonstrating J.R.R. Tolkien’s ownership and acquaintance with the volumes. Tolkien’s contribution to Derek J. Price’s editorial labor and possession of photostats of The Equatorie of the Planetis (c. 1393) as well as editions of Handlyng Synne (started in 1303), Ormulum (c. 1170 – 1180) and Heimskringla (c. 1220 – 1230) seem mere encyclopedic data in appearance. However, the addenda reveal strong potential for future investigations by disclosing: the reasons behind Tolkien’s personal interest in scribal corruption, an attempt to anglicize Old Norse dróttkvætt verse, the whereabouts of a batch of twenty to thirty books owned by him, further scholarly attention paid to Handlyng Synne and Ormulum, and Christopher Tolkien’s friendship with Eric Christiansen.

    № 7: The Dúnadan’s burden?

    SR Westvik

    When the ills of imperialism meet the texts of Tolkien, the prime culprit for examination is, invariably, the island nation of Númenor. Yet the fallout of a world adapting to the major systemic shock of the War of Wrath is one that invites subtler forms of imperialism, presented with a benign slant in the texts that, through close reading, consideration of in-text bias, and application of both political and international relations theory, soon becomes far more insidious. Focusing criticism of Númenor on the hubris of later years minimises the original roots laid prior to the War of the Elves and Sauron, based on First Age ideas endorsing Númenoreans taking up the burden of aiding Middle-earth. It also sidesteps the enduring cultural imperialism of the Elves, both Noldor and Sindar. This paper will review the origins of imperialism in the Second Age of Middle-earth as a function of the exceptionalism cultivated in the First Age – and in doing so, illuminate its legacy in later Ages.

    № 8: Tolkien’s suitcase

    Jessica Yates

    I have been wondering, failing any information from those two reliable biographers Carpenter and Garth, just how Tolkien’s personal effects: books, student notes, papers, drawings, and clothes, survived between his leaving Oxford for the army, and then reuniting with Edith and with his possessions after he came back to England. His younger brother Hilary had already gone into the army, and I assume he didn’t travel to Jane Neave’s home, to leave possessions there. 

    I therefore conjectured a suitcase, perhaps the one which he took to Oxford when he went up, and which he would not need for the army, and filled it with fairly lightweight and very important items which Edith would look after for him. Having listed its likely contents, I began to compile a list of all the other items which we know survived the War, and are still extant today, and considered where they could have been stored.

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