Tolkien Society Seminar 2020
4 July 2020
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The Tolkien Society Seminar 2020 will be held online on Saturday 4th July on Zoom. We will additionally be live-streaming the event on our YouTube channel.

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. Held most years since 1986, the date and venue used to vary each time, but it is now usually held in Leeds on the Sunday before the start of the International Medieval Congress (IMC) which has also been moved online this year.

“I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama.” – Letter 131, to Milton Waldman

In anticipation of the Tolkien TV adaptation by Amazon Prime, this year’s Seminar invites speakers to explore the topic of adapting Tolkien to the screen and beyond. Papers may consider, but are not limited to:

  • Adapting Tolkien’s works to stage and screen
  • Fan-made content
  • Illustrating Middle-earth
  • Tolkienian pastiche
  • Other adaptations: games, merchandise and Hobbit-hole hotels

Following the untimely death of Christopher Tolkien, we would like to recognise his immeasurable contribution to the field of Tolkien studies with a panel discussion on Christopher Tolkien’s interaction with his father’s work.


The timetable for the seminar is as follows:

Time Speaker Paper
12:30 13.30 7.30 Alessandro Voglino Middle Age/Middle Earth in the iconography of the Hildebrandt Brothers
13:00 14.00 8.00 Paul Godfrey Adapting The Silmarillion for Music
13:30 14.30 8.30 Mina Lukic Is Adapting Tolkien (Mis)Remembering Tolkien?
14:00 15.00 9.00 Andrew Higgins ‘Elvish as She is Filmed’ The Adaptation of Tolkien’s Elvish Languages in the Peter Jackson’s Films
14:30 15.30 9.30 Brian Egede-Pedersen “I Heard The Sword’s Song, and It Sang to Me” – Adapting Tolkien in the World of Heavy Metal
15:00 16.00 10.00 Monica Sanz Shadows of Middle Earth: Tolkien in subculture, counterculture and exploitation
15:30 16.30 10.30 BREAK
16:00 17.00 11.00 Panel discussion on the work of Christopher Tolkien
16:30 17.30 11.30 Marie Bretagnolle The other illustrated Silmarillion: Francis Mosley for the Folio Society
17:00 18.00 12.00 Cami Agan The First Age Materials: C. Tolkien’s Greatest Task
17:30 18.30 12.30 Vanessa Simmons Journey’s End: A Musical Interpretation of Tolkien’s Landscape
18:00 19.00 13.00 Kristine Larsen Adapting Tolkien Beyond Arda, or, How to Navigate the Political Minefield of the International Astronomical Union in Order to Name Features on Titan, Pluto, and Charon After Middle-earth
18:30 19.30 13.30 CLOSING COMMENTS


There will be no traditional registration for the Seminar this year. If you are a member of the Tolkien Society then you will have received an email with the Zoom link and details. If you are not yet a member then you can email in order to obtain the link. You can also join the Society here.