Thursday 20 July 2023

CFP: Leeds 2024 IMC Tolkien Sessions


CFP: Leeds 2024 IMC Tolkien Sessions 

Paper abstracts are currently being sought for the following Tolkien sessions for the International Medieval Congress at Leeds, 1-4 July 2024.  The special thematic strand of this conference will be ‘Crisis’.  See more here 

We are very pleased that the 2024 IMC Tolkien Sessions will again be sponsored by The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow

Paper submissions are being sought for the following sessions:  

Tolkien’s Medieval Sub-creation in Crisis 

This session will examine different concepts of crisis in Tolkien studies. Papers may explore the types of crises Tolkien himself created in the body of his legendarium by his revising of several keys stories and legends at different times in his lifelong work.  Papers can address the significance of these narratives and their revisions in Tolkien’s shifting ideas about the world and cultures he was inventing. Papers may also explore adaptations of Tolkien works and how they create crises in our evolving understanding of the canon of Tolkien’s work and its reception.  

Bodily Crises in Tolkien’s Medievalism 

Papers in this session can explore crises/concerns of gender and bodily difference in Tolkien’s works including sexuality and disability.  Indicative areas to be examined include the role of bodies under physical duress, punishment, injury from battle or war, as well as bodies in transformation including prosthetics, spiritual transformation (good or evil) and how bodies and body transformation from Tolkien’s works are depicted in illustrations and in films and other media.  

Racial Medievalism in Tolkien Studies - A Session Celebrating the Works of Professor Dimitra Fimi Founder of Tolkien at Leeds.    

Papers in this session may respond to, critique and develop key ideas regarding Tolkien’s representations of race that were first explored in Professor Dimitra Fimi’s ground-breaking 2008 book Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits, which won the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inklings Studies in 2010. Fimi’s evolving body of work has brought to light neglected aspects of Tolkien’s creativity and world-building, including the centrality of the Elves, the role of linguistic invention, and the relationships between race and material culture in Middle-earth This session invites papers that explore Tolkien’s contexts, racial representations and world-building through engaging with and building upon the approaches Professor Fimi has set out in her academic work.

Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches

This continuing Tolkien at Leeds session will accommodate wider topics and new approaches to Tolkien's medievalism, ranging from source studies and theoretical readings to comparative studies of Tolkien’s works and Middle-earth studies.  

Crises in Researching Tolkien: A Round Table 

The Annual Tolkien at Leeds roundtable will explore the current crises facing Tolkien teachers, academics and researchers in Tolkien and Middle-earth studies.  Topics can include the various adaptions of Tolkien’s works that will continue to grow with new media deals, differing thoughts on treatment of Tolkien’s race, culture and sexuality in his works and the desire of scholars to see, analyse and contextualise more of Tolkien’s remaining unpublished papers.   

  • Please submit a paper contribution title and abstract by 31 August 2023 to  Dr. Andrew Higgins (
  • Length of abstracts: 150 words (max!)  
  • Papers will be 15-20 minutes long (3 paper sessions will be preferred) 
  • With your abstract, please include name and details of contributor (affiliation, address, and preferred e-mail address)

Tuesday 14 March 2023

Tolkien Sessions at Leeds IMC 2023

Eglerio! This year The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic, School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow will be sponsoring six Tolkien sessions at The International Medieval Congress at The University of Leeds from 3-6 July 2023.  This continues the tradition started by our founder Dr.  Dimitra Fimi and is my third year organising these sessions.  

We have a great line up of Tolkien scholars and students exploring many aspects of Tolkien and Middle-earth studies including several papers focused on the subject of this year's conference Networks and Entanglements 

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and Questions of Adaptation and Authenticity: A Round Table Discussion 

Tuesday 4 July 2023: 19.00-20.00 GMT 

The sessions starts with our continuing Tolkien at Leeds roundtable series in which we will explore one of the most significant new adaptations of Tolkien's works, Amazon Prime's five season The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series. Participants will offer short presentations on some element of this series and how it is (or is not) in dialogue with Tolkien's texts and explore what this new adaptation develops or reveals in the expanding body of adaptive works based in some form on Tolkien's world-building. 

Participants will include Brian Egede-Pedersen (Independent Scholar, Nykøbing Falster), Mercury Natis (Independent Scholar, Worthing), and Kate Natishan (University of Virginia).

Tolkien's Work and Academic Networks at the University of Leeds

Wednesday 5 July 2023: 14.15-15.45 GMT 

J. R. R. Tolkien established his academic career at the University of Leeds, joining as a Reader in 1920, aged 28. By the time he left Leeds in 1925 he had established the University as a leader in Old Icelandic language and literature and developed a network of fellow academics and colleagues. Papers in this session will explore the work and networks developed while he was here at the University of Leeds. 

1) The Missing Letters that J.R.R. Tolkien Received from Derek J. Wilson and R.M. Wilson - New Research and Addendum to Further Notes on J.R.R. Tolkien's Photostats of The Equatorie of the Planets (MS Peterhouse 25) - Andoni Cossio, Facultad de Letras, Universidad del País Vasco - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Vitoria-Gasteiz 

2) 'An industrious little devil': Tolkien's Development of the Elvish Languages at Leeds, 1920-1925 - Dr. Andrew Higgins, Centre for Fantasy & the Fantastic, School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow 

3) Leeds and the Medieval Foundation of J. R. R. Tolkien's 'Father Christmas' Letters - Dr. Kristine Larsen, Geological Sciences Department, Central Connecticut State University 

New Works, Networks, and Methods in Tolkien and Middle-earth Research

Wednesday 5 July 2023: 16.30-18.00 GMT 

Papers in this session will explore some of the new methods and critical networks of academic research that are being applied to both Tolkien and Middle-earth studies and what they are revealing about the continuing academic dialogue and discourse around Tolkien and his works. 

1) Tolkien Studies and the 'Theological Turn' - Mitchell Kooh, Department of English, University of Notre Dame, Indiana 

2) Queer Time and Space in Tolkien's Middle-earth -Yvette Kisor, School of Humanities & Global Studies, Ramapo College of New Jersey 

3) Reading Tolkien's First Age through the Lens of Michel de Certeau - Cami Agan, Department of Language & Literature, Oklahoma Christian University 

4) Queer Phenomenology, Lesbian Ents, and the Future of Queer Tolkien Studies - Christopher Vaccaro, Department of English, University of Vermont 

J. R. R. Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches

Thursday 6 July 2023: 09.00-10.30 GMT 

This session will address wider topics and new approaches to Tolkien's medievalism ranging from source studies and theoretical readings to comparative studies (including Tolkien's legacy).

1) Riddles in the Mark: The Usage of 'Riddle' in Book III of The Lord of the Rings as Micro Level Interlacing - Christian Trenk, Theologische Fakultät, Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt 

2) Dark are the Pathless Ways - Scott Hodgman, Department of Literature & Language, Signum University, New Hampshire 

3) 'This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party': Travel and the Quest Motif in Tolkien's Work - Eva Lippold, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Open University 

4) 'We swears on the precious': Oath-Making and Oath-Keeping in Tolkien - Literary Devices or Spiritual Statements? - Gaëlle Abaléa, Centre d’Etudes Médiévales Anglaises (CEMA), Sorbonne Université, Paris 

Tolkien's Medieval Entanglements

Thursday 6 July 2023: 11.15-12.45 GMT 

Throughout his life and academic work Tolkien explored and grappled with some of the most perplexing and interesting cruxes and entanglements of medieval literature and language. This sessions will explore some of these entanglements and how Tolkien sought potential solutions.

1) The Interlaced Entanglement of 'The King's Touch' - Amy Amendt-Raduege, Department of English, Western Washington University 

2) The Theme of Decay and Fall in Tolkien's Works and its Medieval Entanglements - Andrzej Wicher, Zakład Angielskiego Dramatu, Teatru i Filmu, Uniwersytet Łódzki 

3 Sam the Scop: The Entanglements of Poetry in Beowulf and The Lord of the Rings - Kirsten Ogilby, Institut for Engelsk, Germansk og Romansk, Københavns Universitet 

Tolkien at Leeds Business Meeting

Thursday 6 July 2023 - 1pm GMT - 2pm GMT (Esther Simpson 1.01) 

You can also join the meeting via Zoom at 1pm GMT 

Topic: Andrew Higgins' Zoom Meeting

Time: Jul 6, 2023 01:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 837 4562 5576

Passcode: 5FhD6X

Disentangling the Second Age of Tolkien's Middle-earth

Thursday 6 July 2023: 14.15-15.45 GMT 

In Tolkien's great masterwork The Lord of the Rings the Second Age of Middle-earth is a time remembered in poetry and the memories of such witnesses to history as Elrond and Galadriel. Papers in this session will explore this pivotal time in Tolkien's Middle-earth and can be in dialogue with the current Amazon Prime The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power an adaptation of this period of Tolkien's legendarium as well as the new volume The Fall of Numenor and Other Tales published by HarperCollins in November 2022. 

1) The Tale of Aldarion and Erendis: Not Just a Medieval Love Story - Dr. Sara Brown, Department of Language & Literature, Signum University, New Hampshire 

2 Out of the Great Sea: Of Elendil and Legends Old and New - S. R. Westvik, School of History, University College Dublin / Historisches Institut, Universität Potsdam 

3) Untangling the Second Age Tale of Years - James Tauber, Department of Literature & Language, Signum University, New Hampshire 

4) The Roads to Númenor: Navigating Tolkien's Mythopoeic Network - Clara Colin-Saïdani, Faculté Lettres et Langages, Nantes Université 

Before the conference on Sunday 2nd July The Tolkien Society is hosting a one day conference The Mighty and Frail Númenor which will be live and free at The Hilton, Leeds and hybrid - more information can be found here -

As always SODOM fellowship and meading throughout! 

Friday 20 May 2022

Tolkien Sessions at Leeds IMC 2022 - Full Schedule

 Eglerio!  Here is the full schedule of 2022 Tolkien at Leeds Sessions for this summer's conference.  

Thanks to our founder Dr. Dimitra Fimi the 2022 Tolkien at Leeds sessions are being sponsored by The Center for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow 

Before the IMC Conference Starts - The Tolkien Society will be hosting a one day seminar on Tolkien and the Gothic on Sunday 3rd July in Leeds - more information here 

Monday 4th July 11:15-12:45 GMT (Session 141) 

J.R.R. Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches 

Moderator: Dr. Kristine Larsen,  Central Connecticut State University

'An Attempt to Re-Examine the Dialectic of the East and the West in Tolkien’s Selected Works' - Andrzej Wicher, Uniwersytet Łódzki

"Of Dust Motes, Trees, and Golden Flowers: Tolkien and Duns Scotus’ Haeccitas- Victoria-Holtz Wodzak, Viterbo University, Wisconsin

"Epistolary Glossopoesis: The Role of Early Reader and Author Responses in the Development of the Elvish Languages"  Dr. Andrew Higgins 

Monday 4th July 14:15-15:45 GMT (Session 241) 

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

Moderator: Dr. Andrew Higgins 

"The Revivalist Critic and the Alliterative Poet: An Unexpected Collaboration" Dr. Andoni Cossio, Universidad del País Vasco 

"Computing the Interlace Structure of The Lord of the Rings" James Tauber  Lancaster University

‘Pearls’ of Pearl: Medieval Appropriations in Tolkien’s Mythology - Dr. Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University

Monday 4 July 19:00-20:00 GMT (Session 441) 

Round Table Discussion: Tolkien As A Gateway to Interdisciplinary Teaching 

Moderator: Dr Andrew Higgins 

This round table discussion will feature talks by teachers on how they have used the works of Tolkien to introduce and engage students with new fields of study and disciplines. Short papers and discussions will explore how teachers have used the works of Tolkien as a gateway for students to explore and become passionate about other areas of study.

Scheduled participants: Deirdre Dawson, Dr. Jane Beal, Gaëlle Abaléa, Brian Egede-Pedersen, Dr. Dimitra Fimi 

Wednesday 6th July 9:00-10:30 GMT (Session 1033) 

Borders Between Life and Death in Tolkien's Legendarium 

Moderator: Dr. Sara Brown 

'Memories on Borders: On the Borders of Memory - Beleriand as Elegiac Landscape" Cami Agan Department of Language & Literature, Oklahoma Christian University  

"Beyond the Circle of the World" Amy Amendt-Raduege Department of English, Western Washington University

Undead or Undying: Limited of Immortality in Tolkien's Work'  Gaëlle Abaléa, Independent Scholar, Orléans

Wednesday 6th July 11:15-12:45 GMT (Session 1131) 

Family, Orientation, Transgression and Crossing Borders of Middle-earth 

Moderator: Dr. Andrew Higgins 

'Tolkien’s Orphaned Heroes' - Deidre Dawson, Residential College in the Arts & Humanities, Michigan State University

'Chrononormativity and Queer Time: Crossing Temporal Borders in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth' Yvette Kisor, Humanities & Global Studies, Ramapo College of New Jersey

‘Finding out what lies beyond the borders of the Shire’: Applying Tolkien’s Fantastic Texts in and to Madness - The Transgressive Experience of Psychotic Thinking' Alke Haarsma-Wisselink, Independent Scholar, Zwolle

‘Lay your head in my lap’: Homoerotic Tension and Possibility on Mordor’s Border in The Lord of the Rings' Olivia-Kate Burgham, Independent Scholar, Ottawa

Thursday 7 July 2022 11:15-12:45 (GMT) Session 1641 

Crossing Borders in Middle-earth 

Moderator: Dr. Andrew Higgins 

"Light: The Key to Cross the Spatiotemporal Borders in J. R. R. Tolkien's Secondary World" Aslı Bülbül Candaş, School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow 

"Interrogating the Liminal Space: Vampires and Werewolves in Middle-earth"  Dr. Sara Brown, Signum University 

"Time Travel, Astronomy, and Magic Mirrors: How the Borders between Reality and the Otherworld in Middle- Earth Are Influenced by Celtic Mythology and Science (Fiction)' Aurelie Bremont, Centre d’Etudes Médiévales Anglaises (CEMA), Sorbonne Université, Paris

Tolkien at Leeds IMC 2022 Business Meeting - TBD 

SODOM fellowship and meading throughout!  

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