From message board member visualweasel: It’s a little ways off yet, but Chris Vaccaro asked me if I could help spread the word on the Tolkien conference at the University of Vermont next April. I’ve attended this conference for the past three years and I can highly recommend it. Here’s the Call For Papers:

Tolkien at the University of Vermont 2009, an academic conference devoted to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, will be held at the UVM in Burlington, VT on Saturday, April 11th and Sunday, April 12th. The keynote address will be delivered by Professor Jane Chance of Rice University. The conference organizers seek 20-minute papers on any topic related to Tolkien or his texts, but the following topic will be given priority consideration: sex and/or gender in Middle-earth or related to Tolkien’s life or works.

Please send a one-page abstract electronically to Christopher Vaccaro at or by mail to James Williamson at 400 Old Mill, University of Vermont , Burlington , VT 0540 as early as possible. Please include Tolkien 2009 in the subject line. Deadline is January 30th, 2009. For further information, contact the conference organizers.

Ladies and gentlemen, sharpen your pencils.