CFP: Tolkien sessions at Leeds IMC 2022

Paper abstracts are currently being sought for the following Tolkien sessions for the Leeds International Medieval Congress, to be held at the University of Leeds on 4-7 July 2022. These sessions are organised by Dr Andrew Higgins and sponsored by the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic, University of Glasgow.  The special thematic strand of the conference will be “Borders” which is reflected in several of the suggested sessions.

Paper submissions are being sought for the following sessions:

Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches

This session can accommodate thematic topics on, and new approaches to, Tolkien’s medievalism, ranging from source studies and theoretical readings, to comparative studies of Tolkien’s and others’ works. 

Tolkien and Medieval Poets: A Session in Memory of Richard C. West  

This session is in memory of medievalist and distinguished Tolkien scholar who we sadly lost in 2020: Richard C. West.  Richard wrote some of the most important and influential early scholarship on Tolkien including his seminal 1975 essay ‘The Interlace Structure of The Lord of the Rings’ which demonstrated how the narrative interlace structure used by medieval authors influenced Tolkien’s work.  In memory of Richard’s scholarship papers in this session will explore the influence and impact of works of medieval poetry and poets on the creative thought, process, and works of J.R.R. Tolkien.   

Crossing Borders in Middle-earth 

This will be the first session to directly address the special thematic strand of the conference.  Papers in this session can explore any aspects of borders in Tolkien’s works in the broadest sense of the term.  We welcome explorations of geographical, conceptual, political, linguistic and other borders in Middle-earth studies. 

Borders between Life and Death in Tolkien’s Legendarium

In the second session related to the thematic strand of the conference we are looking for papers that explore themes around metaphysical borders and liminal spaces between life and death in Tolkien’s works and their influences. 

Family Ties:  The Limits of Kinship in Tolkien’s Middle-earth

In his vast and complex life-long world-building Tolkien put a great focus in his narrative and para-textual work on developing networks of relationships between different races, languages and families, as in the case of the genealogies found in The Silmarillion and in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings. These networks of various forms of kinship create their own borders between the many peoples of Middle-earth.  This session welcomes papers that will explore the many different types of kinship networks Tolkien establishes in his legendarium and how they work within his rich secondary world. 

Orientation, Transgression, and Crossing Borders of Middle-earth

Papers in this session will explore broader topics around different types of less evident borders found in Tolkien’s creative thought and writing. They can include orientations and borders that are encountered and crossed (or not) in various types of social interactions and relationships in Tolkien’s legendarium including social, linguistic, racial and sexual. 

Tolkien as a Gateway to Interdisciplinary Teaching: A Roundtable

For our 2022 Roundtable we would like to hear from teachers who have used the works of Tolkien to introduce and engage students with new fields of study and disciplines. How have you used the works of Tolkien as a gateway for students to explore and become passionate about other areas of study?

  • Please submit a paper title and abstract by 31 August 2021 to  Dr. Andrew Higgins (asthiggins@me.com)
  • Length of abstracts: 150 words (max!) 
  • Papers will be 15-20 minutes long

Tolkien Reading Day – Reading from The Lord of the Rings

To celebrate this year’s Tolkien Reading Day theme of ‘Hope and Courage’, the Tolkien Society and the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow are excited to release the last of three extracts from Tolkien’s writings. In this extract, which comes from The Lord of the Rings, Sam takes hope from a star over the Ephel Dúath. Accompanying the extract are a collection of readings in a diverse range of languages that have been lovingly created by members of the Society and Centre.

We are grateful to the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins for permission to share this extract and videos. The videos will remain live until just after the end of Tolkien Reading Day (25th March 2021). We are also immensely grateful to our amazing volunteers: Tolkien Society members, as well as students and staff from the Centre, who took the time to record our chosen extracts in French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese! You can find their readings from The Hobbit here, and from The Silmarillion here.

On Tolkien Reading Day itself tomorrow (25th March), don’t forget to join us and our special guests for one of our three live webinars, to share your own reading from Tolkien and discuss how his work inspires hope and courage! Here are the links to book:

Register for the Morning Session 

Register for the Midday Session 

Register for the Evening Session 

Meanwhile, the Society and the Centre will be posting about this extract on their social media profiles and you can join in by visiting the Society’s on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, or the Centre’s FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and share your reactions to the extracts using the hashtag #TolkienReadingDay2021.

The Lord of the Rings ‘Hope and Courage’ Extract and Readings

Download and read the extract from The Lord of the Rings here:

The Lord of the Rings Extract (Word document)

The Lord of the Rings Extract (PDF document)

[These extracts are no longer available to download because the permission from the Tolkien Estate has now expired]

Below are the readings that you can watch and listen to at your own pleasure.

[These video recordings are no longer available to watch because the permission from the Tolkien Estate has now expired]

Tolkien Reading Day – Reading from The Silmarillion

To celebrate this year’s Tolkien Reading Day theme of ‘Hope and Courage’, the Tolkien Society and the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow are excited to release the second of three extracts from Tolkien’s writings. In this extract, which comes from The Silmarillion, Lúthien dares to enchant Morgoth himself. Accompanying the extract are a collection of readings in a diverse range of languages that have been lovingly created by members of the Society and Centre.

We are grateful to the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins for permission to share this extract and videos. The videos will remain live until just after the end of Tolkien Reading Day (25th March 2021). We are also immensely grateful to our amazing volunteers: Tolkien Society members, as well as students and staff from the Centre, who took the time to record our chosen extracts in French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese! Keep an eye on this blog for the extract from The Lord of the Rings tomorrow (Wednesday 24th), and you can also check yesterday’s extract and readings from The Hobbit here.

On Tolkien Reading Day itself (Thursday 25th March), don’t forget to join us and our special guests for one of our three live webinars, to share your own reading from Tolkien and discuss how his work inspires hope and courage! Here are the links to book:

Register for the Morning Session 

Register for the Midday Session 

Register for the Evening Session 

Meanwhile, the Society and the Centre will be posting about this extract on their social media profiles and you can join in by visiting the Society’s on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, or the Centre’s FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and share your reactions to the extracts using the hashtag #TolkienReadingDay2021.

The Silmarillion ‘Hope and Courage’ Extract and Readings

Download and read the extract from The Silmarillion here:

Silmarillion Extract (Word document)

Silmarillion Extract (PDF document)

[These extracts are no longer available to download because the permission from the Tolkien Estate has now expired]

Below are the readings that you can watch and listen to at your own pleasure.

[These video recordings are no longer available to watch because the permission from the Tolkien Estate has now expired]

Tolkien Reading Day – Reading from The Hobbit

To celebrate this year’s Tolkien Reading Day theme of ‘Hope and Courage’, the Tolkien Society and the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow are excited to release the first of three extracts from Tolkien’s writings. This extract comes from The Hobbit and follows Bilbo Baggins as he musters his courage to enter Smaug’s lair alone. Accompanying the extract are a collection of readings in a diverse range of languages that have been lovingly created by members of the Society and Centre.

We are grateful to the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins for permission to share this extract and videos. The videos will remain live until just after the end of Tolkien Reading Day (25th March 2021). We are also immensely grateful to our amazing volunteers: Tolkien Society members, as well as students and staff from the Centre, who took the time to record our chosen extracts in French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese! Keep an eye on this blog for extracts from The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings tomorrow (Tuesday 23rd) and the day after (Wednesday 24th).

On Tolkien Reading Day itself (25th March), don’t forget to join us and our special guests for one of our three live webinars, to share your own reading from Tolkien and discuss how his work inspires hope and courage! Here are the links to book:

Register for the Morning Session 

Register for the Midday Session 

Register for the Evening Session 

Meanwhile, the Society and the Centre will be posting about this extract on their social media profiles and you can join in by visiting the Society’s on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, or the Centre’s FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and share your reactions to the extracts using the hashtag #TolkienReadingDay2021.

The Hobbit ‘Hope and Courage’ Extract and Readings

Download and read the extract from The Hobbit here:

Hobbit Extract (Word document)

Hobbit Extract (PDF document)

[These extracts are no longer available to download because the permission from the Tolkien Estate has now expired]

Below are the readings that you can watch and listen to at your own pleasure.

[These video recordings are no longer available to watch because the permission from the Tolkien Estate has now expired]

Tolkien Reading Day 2021 – Guest Speakers

We have enjoyed working with the Tolkien Society to co-host this year’s Tolkien Reading Day on 25th March 2021. Many thanks to everyone who has been engaging with our joint interactive social media campaign, and have been responding to the weekly prompts. If you want to catch up with all the action so far, search for hashtag #TolkienReadingDay2021.

As the actual day itself draws near, we’re proud to announce guest speakers for each of our live events on the 25th of March:

Scholar in Residence

Dr Dimitra Fimi, co-director of the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic, author of Tolkien, Race, and Cultural History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), co-editor of A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages, and twice winner of Tolkien Society awards for her work on Tolkien, will participate in all three events as Scholar in Residence. She is looking forward to interacting with everyone and celebrating Tolkien’s work!

Morning Meeting (book your place here)

We will be joined by Dr Anna Vaninskaya (University of Edinburgh), author of Fantasies of Time and Death: Dunsany, Eddison, Tolkien (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020); and Marcel Aubron-Bülles, independent scholar and author of The Tolkienist blog.

Afternoon Meeting (book your place here)

We look forward to welcoming Dr Kristine Larsen (Central Connecticut University), who has written extensively about astronomy and science in Tolkien’s works; and James Tauber, who runs the Digital Tolkien Project.

Evening Meeting (book your place here)

In our last meeting of the day we will host Dr Andrew Higgins, co-editor of the extended edition of Tolkien’s A Secret Vice, and an expert on Tolkien’s invented languages; and Dr Una McCormack, New York Times bestselling author, broadcaster, academic.

Join us on the 25th of March and share your own favourite parts of Tolkien’s rich and multi-layered work and world! Here are the links to book again:

Register for the Morning Session 

Register for the Midday Session 

Register for the Evening Session 

Also, keep an eye on our blog – next week we will be releasing videos of Tolkien fans and scholars reading selected extracts that showcase hope and courage in Tolkien’s works in many different languages!

Tolkien Reading Day 2021

The University of Glasgow Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic is very proud to announce that we have partnered with the Tolkien Society (TS) to host this year’s Tolkien Reading Day! 

Each year, Tolkien Reading Day is held on the 25th of March. The purpose of the event is to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages.  

The theme of this year’s Tolkien Reading Day is Hope and Courage. What will you be reading? 

We are working with the Tolkien Society to create engaging and interactive social media throughout March. Then, we will come together on the 25th of March, when the Centre will be hosting three Zoom meetings for readers around the world to share their favourite passages and react to the passages shared by others. 

Does this sound like fun? Do you want to be involved? Here are the best ways to join in the fun: 

Follow the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube and the Tolkien Society on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. Watch out for posts throughout the month! 

Share your stories, comments, and photos on any social media platform and use the hashtag #TolkienReadingDay2021. Most of all, we’d love to see videos of you reading! 

If you want to attend a Zoom session on March 25th, we have three opportunities. With sessions in the morning, midday, and evening (UK time), we hope that we can find a time that matches everyone’s time zone. Please use these Eventbrite links to register for your preferred session! (Please note that the times shown on the Eventbrite pages automatically sync to your time zone.) 

Register for the Morning Session 

Register for the Midday Session 

Register for the Evening Session 

For more information about Tolkien Reading Day, you can visit the Tolkien Society Website