Tolkien Society Seminar

To find out about the next seminar, visit our Summer Seminar 2021 page.

The Society has hosted a Seminar most summers, usually in June or July, most years since 1986. The date and venue used to vary each time, but it is now usually held in Leeds on the weekend before the start of the International Medieval Congress. Due to the CoVid-19 pandemic, the Society moved the seminar online.

Each Seminar consists of a programme of academic talks and panel discussions on a Tolkien-related theme (these themes are set earlier in the year when the call for papers goes out, and anyone is welcome to prepare a paper).

Afterwards, papers from the seminars are often collected together in a single publication and made available to the wider community. These papers are published under the auspices of the Peter Roe Memorial Fund and, to date, there have been 20 Peter Roe Books published, with the latest being Adapting Tolkien in April 2021. You can order Peter Roe books via our Sales page.

Previous Seminars

Year Location Date Subject
2021 (no. 2) Online 3-4 July Tolkien and Diversity
2021 (no. 1) Online 13 February Twenty-first Century Receptions of Tolkien
2020 Online 4 July Adapting Tolkien
2019 Replaced by Tolkien 2019 conference
2018 The Hilton Leeds City 1 July Tolkien the Pagan? Reading Middle-earth through a Spiritual Lens
2017 The Hilton Leeds City 2 July Poetry and Song
2016 The Hilton Leeds City 3 July Life, Death, and Immortality
2015 The Hilton Leeds City 4 July One Hundred Years of Middle-earth
2014 ExCel Centre, London 14 August Incorporated into WorldCon
2013 Tullie House, Carlisle 20 July Tolkien’s Landscapes
2012 Incorporated into Return of the Ring conference
2011 Bar Convent, York 30 July Tolkien’s Trees
2010 Pascoe Vale Tavern, Melbourne 28 August Tolkien’s Odysseys – Middle-earth and Beyond
2010 Birmingham Central Library 26 June Tolkien & Birmingham
2009 Sir John Soame’s Museum, London 27 June Journeys & Destinations
2008 Roehampton University 28 June Freedom, Fate and Choice in the Middle-earth writings of J.R.R. Tolkien
2007 NSW Writsers’ Centre, Sydney 25 August Tolkien Down Under: The Art of Science and Magic
2007 Wolfson Court, Cambridge 16 June Women in Tolkien
2006 Assembly House, Norwich 22 July Politics and Middle-earth
2005 Replaced by Tolkien 2005 conference
2004 St Martin’s College, Carlisle 17 July Tolkien influenced and influencing
2003 Farnham Museum 7 June Drawn from the History of Middle-earth
2002 Whitby Museum 6 July Dramatising Fantasy: Adapting books for stage and screen
2001 Not held
2000 Bristol 1 July The Change of Ages
1999 Wolfson Court, Cambridge 12 June Tolkien, A Mythology for England?
1998 Not held
1997 Manchester University 21 June The ways of creative mythologies – imagined worlds and their makers
1996 The George Hotel, Colchester 15 June Tolkien, the Sea, and Scandinavia
1995 The Guildhall, Leicester 23-5 June Travel and Communications in Tolkien’s Worlds
1994 The Miramar Hotel, Bournemouth 11 June Tolkien, The Monsters, The Middle-ages, and Middle-earth
1993 Queen’s Hall Art Centre, Hexham 25-7 June Tolkien: Art, Archaeology, and Culture
1992 Incorporated into 1992 Tolkien Centenary Conference
1991 Welsh Folk Museum, Cardiff 15 June Open subject. With Terry Pratchett.
1990 David Baxter Centre, Milton Keynes 2 June The First and Second Ages
1989 The Friary, Beverley 24 June Leaves from the Tree: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Shorter Fiction

Before the seminars, the Society held a series of annual workshops:

Year Location Date Subject
1988 Dept of Earth Sciences, Cambridge 11 June Tolkien and Romanticism
1987 Church House, London 16-7 May Celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Hobbit
1986 Leicester Centre for Adult Education 22 March J.R.R. Tolkien, Scholar and Storyteller