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Call for Papers: Tolkien Society Summer Seminar – “Tolkien and Diversity”

We are now calling for papers for the Tolkien Society Summer Seminar, which will be held online on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th July 2021. The theme is Tolkien and Diversity.

Call for Papers

The Tolkien Society Seminar is a short academic conference of both researcher-led and non-academic presentations on a specific theme pertaining to Tolkien scholarship. The online setting of the 2020 seminar saw an increased interest with over 400 attendees from 37 countries. We are delighted to be running another online seminar that will be free for all.

Summer Seminar: Tolkien and Diversity Call for Papers

While interest in the topic of diversity has steadily grown within Tolkien research, it is now receiving more critical attention than ever before. Spurred by recent interpretations of Tolkien’s creations and the cast list of the upcoming Amazon show The Lord of the Rings, it is crucial we discuss the theme of diversity in relation to Tolkien. How do adaptations of Tolkien’s works (from film and art to music) open a discourse on diversity within Tolkien’s works and his place within modern society? Beyond his secondary-world, diversity further encompasses Tolkien’s readership and how his texts exist within the primary world. Who is reading Tolkien? How is he understood around the globe? How may these new readings enrich current perspectives on Tolkien?

Representation is now more important than ever and Tolkien’s efforts to represent (or ignore) particular characteristics requires further examination. Additionally, how a character’s identity shapes and influences its place within Tolkien’s secondary-world still requires greater attention. This seminar aims to explore the many possible applications of “diversity” within Tolkien’s works, his adaptations, and his readership.

Papers may consider, but are not limited to:

  • Representation in Tolkien’s works (race, gender, sexuality, disability, class, religion, age etc.)
  • Tolkien’s approach to colonialism and post-colonialism
  • Adaptations of Tolkien’s works
  • Diversity and representation in Tolkien academia and readership
  • Identity within Tolkien’s works
  • Alterity in Tolkien’s works

Please ensure that abstracts are a maximum of 300 words (papers will be 20 – 25 minutes long, with 5 minutes for questions) and biographies are a maximum of 100 words. Submissions can be made here. The deadline for the call for papers is end of day, Friday 23rd April.

About the Seminar

The Tolkien Society Seminar is a short conference of both researcher-led and non-academic presentations on a specific theme pertaining to Tolkien scholarship. The online setting of the 2020 Seminar saw an increased interest with over 400 attendees from 37 countries. We are delighted to be running another online seminar that will be free for all.

About the Author: Will Sherwood
Will is the Education Secretary for the Tolkien Society. A secondary school teacher of English and Music in Kent, Will is passionate about building relationships between the Society and educational institutes across the globe. He welcomes communications from schools and educational charities that are looking to engage with Tolkien's life and works and can be contacted at education@tolkiensociety.org