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

January summary, 2022

1 February 2022 | TolkienistsErik Mueller-Harder

January was a busy month here at Tolkienists HQ. I concentrated on the data-entry backlog. Considering that I’d like for Tolkienists eventually to be more-or-less comprehensive back to the first emergence of the field of Tolkien studies, the backlog is nearly infinite. However, even the longest journey must begin with the first tentative steps out of one’s Hobbit hole.

Tolkienists’ blogs

All of the bloggers whose posts I’m syndicating have given their explicit permission for my abridging and republishing their work. I hope this will have a synergistic effect, resulting in more traffic to their web sites. Please do follow the links to their own sites to read their posts in their entirety!

Thirteen months (back to the beginning of 2021) of Tolkien-related posts from the following blogs are present here at Tolkienists:

Tolkien conferences

We’re listing nineteen different conferences now! From regional conferences such as Tolkien in Vermont focussing entirely on Tolkien to Inklings-related conferences such as Mythcon and Tolkien strands at topical conferences such as International Congress on Medieval Studies, International Medieval Congress, and all of the various Popular Culture Association conferences, as well as of course The Tolkien Societys Oxonmoot, Tolkien Society Seminar, Tolkien Reading Day, and Springmoot and AGM.

All nineteen conferences now list all Tolkien-related paper sessions — and individual papers! — from 2021, as well as everything that is as yet known for 2022. Take a look!

Tolkien journals

I’ve finished almost all of the 2021 backlog for journals — only the first few 2021 issues of Beyond Bree remain to be finished. I intend also to list the Mythopoeic Societys Mythprint bulletin, but that’s still on the to-do list. But for all the rest, every peer-reviewed article, standard article, review, editorial, and conference-paper reprint for 2021 and January of 2022 is listed here at Tolkienists, as are many of the more important columns, notes, and letters.

There is, of course, a hazy gray line that delineates Tolkien-related. Naturally, Tolkien Studies, Journal of Tolkien Research, and Mallorn are Tolkien-focussed journals that we index comprehensively; similarly, Amon Hen and Beyond Bree are bulletins that concentrate on Tolkien, and we index them for the most part (leaving out fiction, artwork, short notices, and most letters). That hazy gray line seems to come down somewhere between Mythlore, which covers all of the Inklings and mythopoeia in general — but seems nearly always to come back to Tolkien somehow, and Journal of Inklings Studies, which seems to try hard not to be too Tolkien-focussed. And so I’m fully indexing Mythlore, but am listing only Tolkien-related articles and reviews from Journal of Inklings Studies.

Tolkien news

I’m not making any effort to work through the historical backlog of Tolkien-related news: even I can see that that would be an utterly herculean task; or, more accurately, a sisyphian one. However, as of the beginning of January, 2022, I’m making an effort to stay on top of each day’s Tolkien-related news from the mainstream press.


I do not expect to be able to work through any more historical backlog in February, as I’m turning my attention back to the project at Marquette. But I’ll be keeping up with late-winter conference updates, journal issues, blog posts, and news items — so the site will stay current. I look forward, too, to finishing off 2021 and working back through 2020 later this spring. And I plan to approach more Tolkien scholars, too, to ask permission to reprint their blog posts.

Finally, I’m also working with an illustrator to create some Tolkien-relevant artwork for Tolkienists.

Have a good February, everyone!

— Erik

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date recorded 📅2022-02-01
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