The Tolkien Experience Podcast (TEP) is an attempt to bring the fan and scholarly communities together around our shared passion: the works of J.R.R. Tolkien! Each episode features a notable scholar or member of the fan community sharing their responses to the original Tolkien Experience Project questions.
Ted is one of the biggest names in the Tolkien art world. He has had the opportunity to be in multiple official Tolkien calendar, as well as illustrate editions of Tolkien’s work. Most recently, he has been involved with editions of The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales! He also has a written piece in the official 2023 Tolkien Calendar. You can see examples of his work on his website! …
Unedited video of this interview is available exclusively to our patrons on Patreon! …
Matt started [The Nerd of the Rings] to talk about his passion for Tolkien and it has really taken off over the past two years! I was able to have a great conversation with him about what some of his favorite topics have been, and how he was first introduced to Tolkien’s world!…
Aurélie completed her PhD in English Medieval Studies on Tolkien and the Celtic Heritage in 2009 at Sorbonne Université, Paris. Since then, she has been present in conferences in the UK and in France. In 2016 she had the opportunity to translate Tom Shippey’s J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century into French and her work continues to be influential in several areas of Tolkien studies.…
For this episode, Sarah talked with a researcher who looks at Tolkien’s works through a lens of trauma studies: V. Elizabeth King!
Elizabeth is a PhD student and Graduate Research assistant at the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia. Her information page on the university site says that she is currently working “on projects related to developing ecologically responsive multi-component systemic interventions for populations exposed to mass traumas.” This approach informs her reading. We were so glad she could talk with us!
Anna Smol is currently a professor in the Department of English at Mount Saint Vincent University. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member in the graduate English program at Dalhousie University and in the Joint M.A. in Women and Gender Studies (Saint Mary’s University and Mount Saint Vincent). Her research interests include Tolkien studies, medievalism, and Old English, and she has published her work in many refereed journals.
For this episode, I had the opportunity to speak with my good friend and brilliant Tolkien scholar: Mariana Rios Maldonado!
Mariana is a PhD student at the University of Glasgow where she is interested in ethics, feminist theory, and encountering the Other in Tolkien’s works. She received a grant from Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (National Council for Science and Technology, CONACyT) and Fundación INBA (National Foundation for Fine Arts and Literature) in Mexico for her studies. She also serves as the Equality and Diversity Officer for the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic. In addition to all of her engagement with the University of Glasgow, she also holds a position on the editorial review board of Mallorn: The Journal of the Tolkien Society.
This week’s episode is with a scholar whose interest is art history makes for some fascinating insights about illustrations of Tolkien’s works: Joel Merriner.
Joel is an Associate Lecturer in Art History at the University of Plymouth. He is finishing his PhD which examines the illustrations of Tolkien’s work in central and eastern Europe. He presented some of his research at the 2021 Tolkien Society Seminar on diversity (video available on YouTube) and he recently published on the same topic in Foreign Policy. We are delighted to have him as our guest!
Erik Mueller-Harder’s scholarly focus is on cartography and map-making. This interest has led him to closely investigate the first maps that Tolkien ever created for The Lord of the Rings, and his conference presentations on the subject are mesmerizing! In addition to this personal focus, Erik has also created a website Tolkienists.org that has helpful resources for any Tolkien fan or researcher! This is where you will find the Tolkien Society Award nominated Tolkien Art Index, as well as his LR Citations, and a forum that is a hub for researchers and scholars!
For this episode, Sara sat down with our good friend and ‘Tolkienian Astronomer’: Dr. Kristine Larsen!
Kristine is a professor of astronomy at Central Connecticut State University. Her research and teaching focus in the sometimes uncomfortable points of intersection between science and society, including: women in science,; misconceptions, conspiracy theories, and pseudoscience; the popularization of science for general audiences; and the uses/misuses of science in popular culture (including zombie films, science fiction TV series, and the fiction of Tolkien, Lewis, Gaiman and more). She has been writing on Tolkien since the early 2000s, and her paper “Deconstructing Durin’s Day: Science, Scientific Fan Fiction, and the Fan-Scholar” won the 2020 Tolkien Society Award for best article!
For this episode, Sarah had the opportunity to talk with a blogger and fan who is new to the scene compared to our other guests, but she is already having an impact: Putri Prihatini! Putri writes the blog The Lore Master: Blog Tolkien Indonesia where she writes posts in Indonesian and in English. Her article “Greed and Blood: Powerful Objects in The Silmarillion and Javanese Book of Monarchs” was nominated for the Tolkien Society Award for Best Article in 2021.…
I cannot believe I get to write the following sentence: For this episode of the podcast, I was able to talk to the legendary animator who brought The Lord of the Rings to life in the 1970: Ralph Bakshi!
Ralph Bakshi is most well known to our listeners as the director of the 1978 The Lord of the Rings animated movie. Ralph’s work in animation is revolutionary and includes influential films like Fritz the Cat, which has been rated among the top 100 animated films multiple times and has even been added to The Museum of Modern Art’s collection for preservation.
This episode, we are so excited to share out interview with renowned Tolkien scholar Dr. Verlyn Flieger!
Verlyn is a Professor Emerita from the University of Maryland, where she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Celtic, Arthurian, Native American, and Norse Myth. She now teaches online at Signum University.
Her scholarly publications include: A Question of Time: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Road to Faerie, winner of the 1998 Mythopoeic Award for Inklings Studies; Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World; Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays on the History of Middle-earth, co-edited with Carl Hostetter, winner of the 2002 Mythopoeic Award for Inklings Studies. She is also published a number of fiction works, and is a co-editor of the journal Tolkien Studies.
Our guest for this episode is a very well-respected artist in Tolkien circles: Jenny Dolfen!
Jenny has been a freelance illustrator since 2003, and has gained notoriety for her work inspired by Tolkien’s texts. She has won the Tolkien Society Award for Best Art three times, in 2014, 2018, and 2020!
In this interview, Sarah talks to Jenny about her experiences with Tolkien, painting or drawing inspired by his work, and how she interacts with fandom. We hope you enjoy it!
Our guest this week is a viral sensation on TikTok and has recently made the move to YouTube: Willie Jenkins!
Willie Jenkins is a super fan of Tolkien! He also has a magnetic personality and a desire to teach. These things have combined to make him a hit as he puts together short videos that summarize different characters or events from Tolkien’s work. With over 23,000 subscribers on TikTok and 3,000 subscribers on YouTube, he is known as Knewbettadobetta on both platforms, Willie is doing an excellent job making Tolkien’s work more approachable and accessible! I was really pleased to have the opportunity to interview him for this episode!
Willie did have a request from us: to help him get a better camera for his channel. If you can contribute, you can donate using Cashapp. His user name is $WillieJenkins.
Chris is the editor of two collections of scholarship about J.R.R. Tolkien: The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium (2013) and Tolkien and Alterity (2017). He is also the organizer of the annual Tolkien in Vermont conference and a co-organizer of the Tolkien at Kalamazoo group, which organizes conference panels and an annual symposium. His current project is co-editing another edited collection of essays: Queer Tolkien.
Our guest this week is a fantastic animator and author: Molly Ostertag!
Molly is known for her work on several animated series, including Star vs. The Forces of Evil, The Owl House, and ThunderCats Roar. She is also a New York Times Bestselling author who enjoys writing Lord of the Rings fanfiction and fan comics. Her most exciting recent work is her award winning The WitchBoy series. I am so delighted to share our interview with you, where we talk about being her experience as a fantasy writer and a Tolkien fan!
Our guest this week is the first one we have had who worked on the Peter Jackson adaptations of The Lord of the Rings!
Bruce Hopkins played the character Gamling in both The Two Towers and The Return of the King at the beginning of the millennium. He shares with us his own journey as a Tolkien reader, as well as some stories from the set and his personal trek across New Zealand! His trip across New Zealand is available as a mini-series on YouTube!
For this week’s episode of the Tolkien Experience Podcast, I am very excited to share our interview with the creator of Diverse Tolkien!
While she does not want me to use her name, the creator of Diverse Tolkien can be found on Twitter and Tumblr where she focuses on discussing anti-blackness in Tolkien’s work and in the fan community. She wanted me to let you know about her exciting event: Diverse Tolkien Week! This event will be on Twitter and Tumblr during the last week of February. Please listen to the episode to find out more and join in the event later this month!
We have a fantastic guest to start off our second season of the Tolkien Experience Podcast: Marcel Aubron-Bülles!
Marcel, also known as The Tolkienist, is very involved in Tolkien fandom. Marcel is best know for his work as the founder of the German Tolkien Society. He is also an independent Tolkien scholar, and a very active member of the Tolkien Society and Tolkien Tribe. He has recently started a Patreon where you can keep up with his travels and Tolkien news.