CFP: [20th] Tolkien at Kalamazoo (9/15/07; 5-8-11-08)

full name / name of organization: 
Robin Anne Reid

Tolkien at Kalamazoo will be offering six sponsored sessions at the 43rd
International Congress of Medieval Studies. Proposals are sought for the
following sessions and roundtables:
I. Teaching Tolkien (roundtable)

II. Style and Re/Vision in Tolkien (paper session)

III. Tolkien's Monsters (paper session)

IV. The Children of Húrin (roundtable)

V. Religions and Philosophies in Tolkien (paper session)

VI. Tolkien and New Media (paper session)

Participants are limited to only one paper, but each participant may be
scheduled in up to a maximum of three sessions as paper presenter,
panelist, discussant, presider, or respondent. You may submit a proposal
for one of the roundtables as well as a paper session if you wish.

Deadline: September 15, 2007

Submit proposals to:

Robin Anne Reid
Department of Literature and Languages
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Commerce TX 75429
Fax: 903-886-5980

To propose a paper, submit a 300 word abstract along with a short working
bibliography with the required cover sheet which can be found on the
Congress web site:

To propose a topic as a discussant in one of the roundtables, send a brief
proposal as described below. Do not fill out the cover sheet which is
required only for paper abstracts.

More information on scheduled sessions:

I. Teaching Tolkien Roundtable: Tolkien's work has been taught at U.S.
universities since the early seventies, and the popularity of Jackson's
film has only increased the number of teachers interested in using
Tolkien's work and/or Jackson's film in courses at both the secondary and
university level. This roundtable will feature a range of teachers
presenting brief information on teaching Tolkien and participating in a
discussion. The six participants will be expected to contribute material
(information on books, articles, web sites, brief assignments) to
a "Resources" handout for all attendees. If you're interested in
participating in this roundtable please send a brief description of your
background, the class(es) where you've taught Tolkien, and what sort of
materials you could contribute. You may present at a paper session in
addition to participating in the roundtable.

II. Style and Re/Vision in Tolkien: This paper session will revisit the
question of the style of Tolkien's writing in any of his works and will
examine the choices and changes that he made in, for example, plot,
characterization, genre, or poetic metre. We are interested in proposals
that use stylistic methodology (functional grammar or some other
linguistic methodology) or literary/aesthetic methodologies to analyze in
detail specific elements of Tolkien's style of writing. Proposals may be
considered for inclusion in a future volume of essays on this topic.

III. Tolkien's Monsters: This paper session will focus on any of
Tolkien's published works. The question of the Monster, the other, and
its vexed relationship with good and evil, is one that is an important
theme in both medieval and modern literature. Tolkien's work, a bridge
between medieval and modern, features a range of monsters which will allow
for a range of critical readings.

IV. The Children of Húrin Roundtable: Jeff Giles' review published in
Entertainment Weekly repeated key criticisms of Tolkien's work from past
years: "At its worst, Húrin is an impenetrable forest of names, lacking
in subtlety and delight, overstuffed with strangled syntax." Despite
critical review, the publication of a "new" work by Tolkien resulted in
strong sales (outselling, if only for a brief time, the latest Harry
Potter novel on This roundtable will feature scholars
presenting a range of views on the novel, in the context of Tolkien's
Legendarium and scholarship on his work. If you're interested in
participating in this roundtable please send a brief description of your
background and a brief list of views you'd like to contribute to the
discussion. You may present at a paper session in addition to
participating in the roundtable.

V. Religions and Philosophies in Tolkien: This paper session takes as a
starting point Tolkien's own claim that The Lord of the Rings was a
fundamentally religious work even though no organized religious
institutions or practices are presented supports the continuing
exploration of this theme in his work. Recent access to archive materials
showing the possible influence of Buddhist thought on Tolkien's work and
current scholarship on the syncretic nature of medieval Christianity shows
that the range and content of religions and philosophies in Tolkien's work
is still a contested question.

VI. Tolkien and New Media: Scholarship on both Jackson's and Bakshi's
film adaptations of Tolkien's work is growing, but this session can
include discussions of gaming (both board and online gaming, including the
new online The Lord of the Rings), as well as visual interpretations of
Tolkien's work, and fan writing about Tolkien's world.

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Received on Thu Aug 02 2007 - 09:59:09 EDT