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2015 Tolkien Society Seminar a huge success

The Tolkien Society Seminar 2015 has been hailed by attendees as “one of the best, ever“. The 25th Seminar took place last month in the city of Leeds, where Tolkien was an academic in the early 1920s.

The Seminar, organised by Education Secretary Verne Walker, had a theme of “One Hundred Years of Middle-earth” and, aside from a full programme of talks, attendees were granted special access to the Tolkien-Gordon Collection which includes letters and publications by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Tolkien Society Seminar takes place most years and aims to give scholars and aspiring academics an opportunity to share their work with attendees; delegates find the talks stimulating and rewarding. The event is open to the public – you do not need to be a member of the Society in order to attend.

Attendees listening to John Garth

Over 30 attendees enjoyed a full day of programming which included contributions from author of Tolkien and the Great War John Garth and Tolkien Society blogger Michael Flowers. Eva Lippold talked attendees through “Hatching Dragons: Their earliest conception and development in Tolkien’s writing” whilst David Robbie shed more light on Tolkien’s life during the War in “Tolkien in Staffordshire, 1915–18”.

Daniel Helen, trustee of the Society, said “The Seminar offered some fascinating new approaches to studying Tolkien and provided a great opportunity to engage with scholars and enthusiasts alike. The top-notch scholarship and fellowship is why I’ll thoroughly recommend Tolkienists join me there next year.

Attendee Irena Metzler said, “There were some really interesting and thought-provoking papers, and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. More next year, please!!” whilst the Tolkien Society’s archivist Pat Reynolds said “the best seminar I have attended in recent years, and one of the best, ever.

The theme, date, and location for the 2016 seminar are being finalised with a view to releasing a Call for Papers in the autumn. The event is likely to be in late June or early July, but check the Tolkien Society website for more information. If you would like more information about the Seminar, please contact Verne Walker, the Education Secretary.

About the Author: Shaun Gunner
Shaun is the Chair of The Tolkien Society. First elected in 2013, Shaun has overseen the Society's expansion from 600 to 3,500 members. Shaun regularly speaks about adaptations of Tolkien's works and the future of Tolkien scholarship whilst passionately believing the Society needs to reach out to new audiences. In his spare time he can be found playing video games and Lego, or on Twitter. He chaired another charity, Mankind, and is a local councillor.