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Kalamazoo, and Tolkien Too

April 21, 2012 at 9:48 am by Altaira  - 

Discussion board member Modtheow reminds us of this annual event where discussion board members N.E. Brigand, visualweasel and Indigo Istar will be among the presenters!

Every year about 3,000 medievalists descend on Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI for the International Congress on Medieval Studies, but tucked into the over 600 sessions on every medieval topic imaginable, you can find 6 or 7 sessions on Tolkien, often referred to as “Tolkien at Kalamazoo.” You don’t have to be a medieval scholar to attend this conference, though I should say that it is meant to be a scholarly event — still, there’s lots of fun to be had, especially in the Friday night “Tolkien Unbound” entertainment, or the Saturday night dance, or in some of the gaming sessions, or dinner at Bilbo’s Restaurant. You can find information about the full conference here.

In looking over the schedule, I see a few members of TORn on the program: N.E. Brigand, visualweasel, and the occasional poster Indigo Istar, who also posts here as Chris Vaccaro. Anyone else on the program from TORn that I don’t recognize? I’m looking forward to attending this year!

Here are the Tolkien sessions extracted from the main program, just to give you a taste of what’s to come:

Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Western Michigan University
International Congress on Medieval Studies:

May 10, 2012
Thursday 10 a.m.

The Hobbit on Its Seventy-Fifth Anniversary
Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Organizer: Brad Eden, Valparaiso Univ.
Presider: Douglas Anderson, Independent Scholar

The Hidden War of The Hobbit
Jane Beal, Colorado Christian Univ.

The Mythology of Magic in The Hobbit: Tolkien and Andrew Lang’s Red FairyBook “Story of Sigurd”
Jane Chance, Rice Univ.

“A Fragment Detached”: The Hobbit and The Silmarillion
John D. Rateliff, Independent Scholar

Creation from Philology: Echoes of the Voluspa in Tolkien
Jason Fisher, Independent Scholar


Thursday 1:30 p.m.

Tolkien and Ideology
Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Organizer: Brad Eden, Valparaiso Univ.
Presider: Brad Eden

Tolkien and the Old English Apollonius: Medieval and Modern Constructions of Masculinity
Christopher T. Vaccaro, Univ. of Vermont

Tolkien, Classical Myth, and Said’s Orientalism: Othering the East and the South
Edward Risden, St. Norbert College

Reflecting the Eternal: Medieval Origins of Tolkien’s Depictions of Paradise
Gina Weckwerth, Univ. of South Dakota

Creating and Redeeming: A Look at J. R. R. Tolkien and Saint Thomas Aquinas
Amber-Lee Baker, Emmanuel Christian Seminary

Thursday 3:30.

Tolkien’s Shorter Poems and Lyrics
Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Organizer: Brad Eden, Valparaiso Univ.
Presider: Yvette Kisor, Ramapo College

Metrical Variation as Characterization in Hobbit Verse
John R. Holmes, Franciscan Univ. of Steubenville

Musical Allusion in Tolkien’s Poetry and Its Victorian Counterparts
Brad Eden

Songs and Stars: Celestial Motifs in Tolkien’s Poetry
Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State Univ.

May 11, 2012
Friday 1:30

Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun
Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Organizer: Brad Eden, Valparaiso Univ.
Presider: Amy Amendt-Raduege, Whatcom Community College

Sigurd’s Second Coming
Gerard Hynes, Trinity College, Univ. of Dublin

Morris, Tolkien, and the Logic of Medievalist Feminism
Larry W. Caldwell, Univ. of Evansville

Struck in the Eyes by Sigurd and Gudrun
Janice M. Bogstad, Univ. of Wisconsin–Eau Claire; Philip E. Kaveny, Univ. of
Wisconsin–Eau Claire

Tangled with Works of Old: Sigurd and Gudrun in the Web of Tolkien’s Writings
Merlin DeTardo, Independent Scholar

Friday 3:30

Teaching Tolkien (A Roundtable)
Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Organizer: Brad Eden, Valparaiso Univ.
Presider: Robin Anne Reid, Texas A&M Univ.–Commerce

Teaching Tolkien in Another Culture: Non-English Speaking, Non-Anglo-American Students and Tolkien
Gergely Nagy, Szegedi Tudományegyetem

Is There a Class for This Text?: J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, and Romantic Aesthetics
Craig Franson, La Salle Univ.

Lord of the Rings: Reading versus Viewing
Janice M. Bogstad, Univ. of Wisconsin–Eau Claire

There and Back Again in the Classroom: Preparing for the Release of The Hobbit
Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State Univ.

Tolkien and Theology for Undergraduates
Jack R. Baker, Spring Arbor Univ.

Tolkien: Medieval and Modern
Rachel Fulton Brown, Univ. of Chicago

Friday 7:30.

Tolkien Unbound.
Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Organizer: Brad Eden, Valparaiso Univ.
Presider: Brad Eden

Maidens of Middle-earth: The Silmarillion
Eileen Marie Moore, Cleveland State Univ.

Farmer Giles of Ham (A Readers’ Theater Presentation)
Eileen Marie Moore, Cleveland State Univ.; Michael Wodzak, Viterbo Univ.; Merlin DeTardo, Independent Scholar; Keith Jensen, William Rainey Harper College; Amy Amendt-Raduege, Watcom Community College; Robert Tredray, Independent
Scholar; Janice M. Bogstad, Univ. of Wisconsin–Eau Claire; John R. Holmes, Franciscan Univ. of Steubenville

May 12, 2012
Saturday 10 a.m.

Tolkien and Women
Sponsor: Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Organizer: Brad Eden, Valparaiso Univ.
Presider: Christopher T. Vaccaro, Univ. of Vermont

Women and Tolkien: Amazons, Valkyries, Feminists, and Slashers
Robin Anne Reid, Texas A&M Univ.–Commerce

Constructing Lothiriel: Rewriting and Rescuing the Women of Middle-earth from the Margins
Catherine Coker, Texas A&M Univ.

Revising Lobelia
Amy Amendt-Raduege, Whatcom Community College

Wo-man: Tolkien’s Nomenclature for the Feminine in His Invented Languages
Eileen Marie Moore, Cleveland State Univ.

12:00 noon Tolkien at Kalamazoo
Business meeting

Posted in Events, Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lectures & Education, LotR Books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Two Towers, Tolkien on April 21, 2012 by
Kalamazoo, and Tolkien Too | Discuss