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

Tolkienists on Summer Holidays

17 May 2022 | TolkienistsErik Mueller-Harder

Friends, colleagues, & visitors,

tl;dr: Tolkienists is on a sabbatical. Please come back this September!


I have, as it turns out, over-committed. Tolkienists, together with the Tolkien Art Index, LR Citations, and TolkienMoot, is very important to me, and it is not going away.

However, I am having to put work on them on hold for a little while.

Some of you may know of the work that I’m doing this year for the Tolkien Archive at Marquette. This is an absolute dream job, and the work that’s happening there will have a direct and lasting effect on Tolkien Studies in general and LotR scholarship in particular. My involvement in this project is planned to continue through this August, and is taking most of my effort and attention right now.

I will also be travelling this summer to England and Scotland for three weeks, for the Tolkien Society Seminar, the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, the York Early Music Festival, and the Once and Future Fantasies conference hosted by the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow.

Those of you who know that I had Stage IV esophageal cancer a few years ago — necessitating radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and three extensive surgeries — will probably understand my delight at being able to travel and work to this extent. But by the same token I have to acknowledge that The Ordeal has left its marks in reduced stamina and mental acuity and the constant attention I need to pay to digestion and sleep. I find that I don’t always remember to make allowance for these new realities of my life.

Most all of these other commitments will wrap up by the end of the summer, and I’ll be thrilled at that point to welcome you back to Tolkienists. I have various Good Things planned:

  1. Dramatic improvements to LR Citations, including correlation of a few more paginations, integration of the First Edition of LotR, and more.
  2. Dramatic improvements to the Tolkien Art Index.
  3. Resumption of day-by-day coverage of Tolkienists’ blogs, articles, and seminar papers.
  4. A more intuitive site structure, and custom-designed icons and way-markers.

Finally, I would like to apologize to almost everyone who has written me in 2022. I have read your email, and in every case I plan to respond. Realistically, you may not hear from me until September — but rest assured that I am not ignoring you. If you need to reach me (and can live with a delayed response!), please send email to erikmh at the domain you’re visiting right now, tolkienists.org.

Have a lovely summer, everyone. I’ll see you this autumn!

— Erik

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