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The Tolkien Society Seminar “Tolkien’s Trees”

May 12, 2011 at 11:08 am by xoanon  - 

30th July 2011, Bar Convent, York This summer’s Tolkien Society Seminar will be at York’s historic Bar Convent on the theme of “Tolkien’s Trees” that gives scope for papers on the trees, gardens, woods, forests, and forest dwellers of Middle-earth and elsewhere in Tolkien’s works, and our understandings of them or what they may signify. The Bar Convent is a working convent just 15 minutes walk from York railway station. Lake Evendim Smial will organise Innmoots on the Friday and Saturday evenings and depending on interest we may arrange a tour of York Brewery at 5pm on Friday (£6 for adults); a group meal on Friday evening; a group walk around York on Sunday morning; and/or a group visit to Duncombe Park near Helmsley to see the trees (c. £10). More details will be sent to those who register and any charges for these will be payable on the day. Registration Rates £15.00 members, £18.00 non-members

The cost of places at the seminar includes refreshments on arrival, mid morning and mid afternoon. Lunch is not provided, however the licensed café at the convent will be open and there are many other places where you can eat lunch within a short walk. The seminar itself will start at 10:00 and finish by 17:00.

Call for Papers

There are many kinds of trees in the works of Tolkien. Trees, woods, forests, and tree-like beings appear in various parts of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, Smith of Wootton Major, and of course Leaf by Niggle. Some of these are special, magical, and inspirational, and others are dark, frightening, or ominous; from the Old Forest to the Golden Wood of Lothlorien, the Ents of Fangorn or the malice of Old Man Willow. Trees may also carry symbolic values that may be explored and considered such as the White Tree of Gondor. There is scope for considering ecology theory and the way Tolkien’s depictions of trees in relation to various created societies and characters pre-dates the rise of actual ecology theory; and while his treatment of trees may open up moral insights, they offer options for interpretation that are more in tune with modern perceptions.

Participants are free to draw on any part of Tolkien’s oeuvre, or to follow a thematic line within one text, or one text in its variant forms (draft ms, published work, or amended edition). Papers/presentations may be either 20 or 45 minutes long to fit into half-hour or hour slots with a ten to fifteen minute question/discussion session. Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words. Send your proposal, and a short biography to

Abstracts must be received by June 30th, 2011.


If you need to stay overnight in York the Bar Convent has some bed and breakfast accommodation from £33 per person, per night which you can book direct with them (01904 643 238 or on-line). Across the street are two Premier Inns (York City, Blossom Street South and York City, Blossom Street North, 0871 527 9194 or on-line) and a little further away there is a Hotel du Vin (0845 365 4438 or online). Ace York, a “boutique” hostel is only five minutes walk (01904 627720 or online) There are, of course, many other hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts in and around York contact Visit York for details (01904 550099 or online).

York is only two hours from London by train and it would be possible to travel up for the day. Leeds-Bradford airport is about an hour and a half away by bus and train (via Leeds station). Robin Hood airport is a similar distance by bus and train (via Doncaster station). If travelling by car the Nunnery Lane car park (£10 for the day) is just around the corner or you may prefer to use the Park & Ride (£2.30 return). Bus 3 from Askham Bar Park & Ride stops opposite Bar Convent, buses from Monks Cross, Rawcliffe Bar and the Designer Outlet Park & Rides stop 10-15 minutes walk from the Bar Convent.

A booking form will be circulated with the next issue of Amon Hen or can be downloaded from the Society’s web site:

Posted in Events, Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lectures & Education, Tolkien on May 12, 2011 by

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