Taking place at the Bramhall Music Building, the lecture will take place as part of the one-off Fantasy Worlds Weekend in honour of J.R.R. Tolkien, and the contribution that the city of Birmingham has made towards fantasy worlds. Other events include a marathon screening of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and a Tolkien-themed festival.
Dr Dimitra Fimi is Lecturer in Fantasy and Children’s Literature at the University of Glasgow. Her first monograph, Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) won the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies. She co-edited the first critical “extended” edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s essay “A Secret Vice”, in which Tolkien theorizes his language invention (A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages, HarperCollins, 2016). The book won the Tolkien Society Award for Best Book. Her monograph, Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy: Idealization, Identity, Ideology (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), was runner up for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award and shortlisted for the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies. In 2021, Fimi received the Tolkien Society’s Outstanding Contribution Award.
The event – “I hold the key”: J. R. R. Tolkien through interviews and reminiscences – is described as follows:
Dr Dimitra Fimi, internationally recognised scholar and expert, will give the first annual lecture in honour of J. R. R. Tolkien at University of Birmingham. This lecture will meander through several interviews Tolkien gave during his lifetime, as well as reminiscences of people who knew him well (family, colleagues, publishers, friends). Though this material remains uncollected and scattered in various (often obscure) publications, it often reveals fascinating facets of Tolkien’s inspirations, creative process, as well as the construction of a “biographical legend”.