Tolkien Society Bursary Winners – 2021

Alicia Matz – Boston University, USA – PhD

Alicia Matz began her PhD career at Boston University in the fall of 2017. She earned her B.A. in Classics in 2015 from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, and her M.A. in Classics from Rutgers University in 2017. Her research interests include Augustan literature, politics and material culture, and reception, especially in science fiction and fantasy literature. In her free time she runs the @LOTRinLatin twitter, where she is translating Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (slowly) into Latin.


Andoni Cossio – University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Spain – PhD

Andoni Cossio is working on a PhD dissertation entitled “The Evolution of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Ecological Perspective through the Portrayal of Trees and Forests: From The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings”. He is sponsored by the Pre-doctoral Funding (PRE_2017_1_0210 MOD.:A), financed by the Basque Government, and by the research group REWEST (IT-1026-16), funded by the Basque Government and the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). His publications focus on nature and medieval influences in Tolkien’s oeuvre and he has organised eight international conferences on the Inklings in Spain. ORCID: 0000-0003-2745-5104,


Aslı Bülbül – University of Glasgow, UK – MPhil

Aslı Bülbül is an MPhil student in the School of Critical Studies at the University of Glasgow and studies light imagery as the diegetic world-builder in Tolkien’s secondary world. She received her BA from İstanbul University and MA from İstanbul Aydın University. Her master’s degree dealt with the influence of history and culture in The Lord of the Rings. She has been a member of The Tolkien Society since 2015. Two of her articles were published in the Proceedings of the Tolkien Society Seminar 2016 and 2018. She shared her MA Thesis at ERASMUS Teaching Mobility in Poland in 2016. She has been a BTP Tutor at the Brilliant Club since 2018.


Minna Nizam – Sarah Lawrence College, USA – Masters

Minna is a trans fantasy author of Pakistani-American ancestry who graduated from Drew University in 2017 with a degree in Art History and History, minoring in Medieval Studies. They are currently a second year graduate student at Sarah Lawrence College, where they study Women’s History and plans to write a thesis about South Asian women’s voices in Victorian era Britain. Minna is also working on a fantasy series, titled United Kingdoms of Eslanda, and plans to be published by 2023. Their biggest influences in the writing world are Neil Gaiman, J.R.R. Tolkien, and classic literature such as Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and Gilgamesh. Minna enjoys alternative culture and recently interviewed for Weirdo Zine, a zine dedicated to South Asian alternative creators. Minna has worked as a museum educator for several well known institutions including The Cloisters, the New York Transit Museum, and the Brooklyn Historical Society. Minna lives with their cat, Lily Munster, in a whimsical little house called The Bat House (the house used to be infested with bats on the roof!) near a spooky little cemetery.