The Tolkien Society Seminar for 2010 is happening in two parts, one in the UK and one in Australia arranged by the Tolkien Society in partnership with Tol Harndor: The Australian Tolkien Society. The Tolkien Society Seminars provide academics, students and independent scholars with a venue for interdisciplinary dialogue.
Tolkien & Birmingham, 26th June, Birmingham, UK
Papers are invited on the theme “Tolkien & Birmingham”. The influence of nineteenth and twentieth century urban environments appear to take us a long way from the more frequently discussed influence of the medieval but are clearly fundamental to understanding how his childhood experiences shaped his later creativity and papers may cover topics as diverse as the Tolkien & Suffield connections and histories, the encroachment of a city & suburbs on the rural areas, the industrial aspects of the city and Tolkien’s reaction to them, the multiple homes he lived in, the city he left and returned to many times, and the influences of the city on Tolkien, and the modern influences of Tolkien on the city. Authors are free to draw on any part of Tolkien’s oeuvre (draft ms, published work, amended edition), the various published (and soon to be published) biographies of Tolkien and his family and the various genealogies as appropriate.
Format: Papers should be either 20 or 45 minutes long to fit into half-hour or hour slots with time for questions or discussion. There may also be scope to accommodate a number of short 10-minute presentations. It is intended that there will be two morning sessions and one afternoon session between 9 am and 4.45pm. Please send the title, a short summary/abstract and the intended length to Ian Collier, the Education Secretary, e-mail: edsec AT tolkiensociety.org
The planned venue is Birmingham Central Library’s Shakespeare Memorial Room as this is the remaining part of the library that is still extant from Tolkien’s time in the city and may have been seen by him.
Tolkien’s Odysseys – Middle-Earth and Beyond
28th August, Melbourne, Australia
“You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – Frodo quoting Bilbo in “The Lord of the Rings”
This significant annual event in the Tolkien calendar is being held in Australia for the second time. The Tolkien Seminar will be held in Melbourne just before ‘Aussiecon 4’ (http://www.aussiecon4.org.au/), the 68th World Science Fiction Convention (2nd to the 6th September).
We invite people from Australia and abroad with an interest in Tolkien to submit a paper for consideration. The theme of odysseys is wide-ranging in scope and can cover not only various aspects of odysseys in the works of Tolkien but also the trials and tribulations of Tolkien’s own life in his quest to produce his own ‘British’ mythology.
Some potential topics for consideration might be:
• The odysseys or journeys of individual characters (e.g. Bilbo, Frodo, Turin or Beren) and groups (e.g. The Fellowship)
• The physical and spiritual development of characters from all of Tolkien’s works
• Plot development in The Lord of The Rings
• The use of ‘journey’ as a plot device
• Change for good, evil or both
• Odyssey – predestination and the influences on choice
• J.R.R. Tolkien’ own personal odyssey in regards to not only the development of his stories, but also his life, particularly the influence of war
• Homer’s Odyssey – the parallels
Papers should be either 20 or 45 minutes long to fit into half-hour or hour slots with time for questions/discussion. There may also be scope to accommodate a number of short 10 minute presentations. Please send the title, a short summary/abstract and the intended length to the Seminar organiser, Michael Kennedy email – pacific AT tolkiensociety.org
You can also find these Calls and later updates published online at Facebook (where there are alos Event pages for each Seminar), Live Journal and Dreamwidth