TOLKIEN AS COMMENTATOR: PHILOLOGY, MYTHOLOGY, AND FANTASY

deadline for submissions: 
April 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
South Atlantic Modern Language Association 90
contact email: 

In his introduction to J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, Tom Shippey argues that “The Lord of the Rings has established itself as a lasting classic, without the help and against the active hostility of the professionals of taste; and has furthermore largely created the expectations and established the conventions of a new and flourishing genre.” The impact Tolkien has made on not only high fantasy, but also on the importance of language and mythology studies is undeniable. The influences of World War I, modern industrialization, and more are evident in his works as socio-political commentary, despite his personal dislike of allegory. Tolkien studies reflects a thriving culture in and outside the university. To that end, this panel seeks work that explores the lasting impressions of Tolkien’s projects, whether it covers classic Tolkien texts like The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, more obscure texts like The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin, or more miscellaneous projects like his translations, interpretations, histories, art, short stories, poetry, and language studies. Work that analyzes Tolkien’s effect on pop culture, politics, and sociology is also welcome, as is work that incorporates the personal influence and/or texts of his close friend, C.S. Lewis. By April 30, 2018, please submit a 200-300 word abstract to Bryana Fern with the University of Southern Mississippi at bryana.fern@usm.edu. Within your abstract, please include a short bio, along with any A/V requirements.