Monday, 13 July 2020

Leeds IMC 2021 - Tolkien Sessions - CFP

Eglerio!  I am very excited and honoured to be organising the Tolkien Sessions for the
Leeds IMC  

The overall theme of the conference will be climates 

I am looking for paper submissions for sessions that would cover two aspects of ‘climates’ as well as again offering sessions that can accommodate wider topics of Tolkien scholarship. 

Medieval Climates, Cosmologies and Eco-systems in the Works and World-Building of J.R.R. Tolkien  

Papers in these sessions can explore all aspects of climate and its interaction  and relationship with the heavens, waters, landscapes, patterns of weather, human and non-human life within the context of the corpus of Tolkien’s fictional works and world-building; including eco-critical explorations of Tolkien’s narratives and myth-making.  

Climates of Opinion, Feeling, Influence and Reception of the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien 

Papers in these sessions will explore ‘climates’ as expressed in the interconnected factors, experiences, creative and critical thought that either influenced J.R.R. Tolkien and his myth-making or has influenced the ‘climate’ for Tolkien today through the scholarship, reception and adaptation of his works.  

Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches

These session can accommodate wider topics and new approaches to Tolkien's medievalism, ranging from source studies and theoretical readings, to comparative studies of Tolkien’s works.  

If you are interested in participating:

  • Please submit a paper contribution title and abstract by 6th September 2020 to  Dr. Andrew Higgins (
  • Length of abstracts: 100 words (max!)  
  • Papers will be 15-20 minutes long 
  • With your abstract, please include name and details of contributor (affiliation, address, and preferred e-mail address)

Friday, 31 January 2020

Tolkien Experience Podcast

Eglerio!  I am very pleased and quite honoured to be the third Tolkien scholar interviewed for the brilliant new Tolkien Experience Podcast - which has been one of the excellent projects that has come out of Dr. Luke Shelton's groundbreaking Tolkien Experience Project.

I was very excited to be the third guest after the leading Tolkien scholars Dr. Dimitra Fimi and Janet Brennan Croft and to be interviewed by my fellow Tolkien scholar, colleague, founding member of SODOM and dear friend Dr. Sara Brown.

I really enjoyed talking to Sara about how I got involved with Tolkien (thanks to my Dad!) and my love for Tolkien's languages and the wonderful adventure I am on in my Tolkien study and scholarship.  So looking forward to more of these episodes.

Thanks Luke and Sara for including me in your adventure!

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Eglerio! Tolkien at Leeds IMC 2020 Sessions Announced

What a great opportunity for Dr. Wotan to resume his errant blogging with this announcement about the Tolkien at Leeds International Medieval Congress 2020 which I am co-organising this year with Dr. Dimitra Fimi.  Dr. Fimi has spent the last five years working valiantly and tirelessly to first establish and then organise these sessions at Leeds (you can read Dr. Fimi's roundup reports of the past conferences here: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 ). 

For the 2020 conference Dr. Fimi and I are organising the conference together so I can 'learn the ropes' to take over organising the conference in 2021 (big shoes to fill!).   For Tolkien at Leeds IMC 2020 Dr. Fimi and I are very pleased to announce that all 5 sessions on J.R.R. Tolkien that were proposed have been accepted: including three that will focus on the overall theme of this year's conference: borders.     

Here are the sessions titles and papers now with the scheduled dates and times.  


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

Sponsor: School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow
Organiser: Dr. Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar
Moderator/Chair: Deirdre Dawson, Independent Scholar
Session Day/Time: Monday 6 July (11:15-12:45)  

A Preliminary History of Deadly Splinters
Victoria Holtz-Wodzak,  Viterbo University Wisconsin

Tolkien Alliterative Style in The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son 
Anna Smol, Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia

Dewdrop, Apple and Pomegranate: Three Symbols of the Ring Bearing in Czerniawski's Wyprawa
Joel Merriner, University of Plymouth UK

Foraging for Sources: Sir Orfeo as the Origin of Medieval Romance Topoi Present in Mirkwood
Andoni Cossio, Universidad del Pais Vasco

Session 905: 

New Sources and Approaches to Tolkien's Medievalism - A Round Table Discussion

Sponsor: School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow
Organiser and Moderator: Dr. Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar
Session Day/Time: Tuesday 7 July (19:00-20:00)   


Leo Carruthers, Centre d'Etudes Medievales Anglaises (CEMA), Sorbonne Université

Dr. Dimitra Fimi, School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow

Kristine Larsen, Geological Sciences Department, Central Connecticut State University

Thijs Porck, Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS), Universiteit Leiden

This roundtable discussion will focus on works by J.R.R. Tolkien published during the last few years, with a particular emphasis on the latest posthumous publication of Tolkien's Lost Chaucer, edited by John M Bowers (Oxford University Press).

SESSION 1536: 

Borders in Tolkien's Medievalism I     

Sponsor: School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow 

Organiser: Dr. Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar 
Moderator/Chair: Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University 
Session Day/Time: Thursday 9 July (9:00-10:30)  

The Liminality of Tolkien's Non-Human Species 

Dr. Andrzej Wicher, Uniwersytet Lodz 

Undead of Undying: Limits of Immortality in Tolkien's Work 

Gaëlle Abaléa, Sorbonne Université Paris 

Implementing the Liminal Space: Vampires and Werewolves  

Sara Brown, Independent Scholar 

Warrior Maidens, Mounds and Ancestral Swords in LOTR and in the Old Norse Hervarar Saga Jan A. Kozák, University of Bergen, Norway

SESSION 1636: 

Borders in Tolkien's Medievalism II 

Sponsor: School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow 
Organiser: Dr. Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar 
Moderator/Chair: Sara Brown, Independent Scholar  
Session Day/Time:  Thursday 9 July (11:15-12:45)  

Tolkien's Taliska: Language Invention on Linguistic Borders
Dr. Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar

Linguistic Borders, Boundaries and Bridges in Tolkien's Writing
Deirdre Dawson, Independent Scholar

Borders of Mind and Nation in Tolkien's Works
Ellen Duncan, Independent Scholar

SESSION 1736: 

Borders in Tolkien's Medievalism III

Sponsor: School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow  
Organiser and Moderator/Chair: Dr. Andrew Higgins, Independent Scholar
Session Day/Time: Thursday 9 July (14:15-15:45)  

Boundaries and Marches: Marked and Unmarked Edges in Tolkien's Maps
Erik Mueller-Harder, Independent Scholar

The Walls of the World and The Voyage of the Evening Star: The Complex Borders of Medieval Geocentric Cosmology
Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University

The Limits of Subcreation
Lars Konzack, Institute for Kommunikation, Copenhagen Universitet

Time-Travel, Astronomy and Magic Mirrors: The Borders between 'Reality' and 'Otherworlds' within Middle-earth
Aurelie Bremont, Sorbonne Université Paris

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