Tolkien's Legendarium and Medieval Cosmology

deadline for submissions: 
September 14, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Judy Ann Ford, Texas A&M Univ–Commerce
contact email: 

The assumption that science largely ceased to be an area of human endeavor between the Hellenistic period and the age of Galileo has given way to an increasing awareness of the continuity of scientific thinking throughout the medieval period, especially as regards cosmology and astronomy. The notion of a more scientifically aware Middle Ages may seem at odds with the boundaries of medieval thought presented in the paradigms of western medievalism created by authors C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. But the popular image of the Middle Ages they created may be less incompatible with recent work on medieval science than might initially be supposed. This is a call for papers that explore ways in which Tolkien’s fictional universe may have reflected medieval cosmological thought, to be presented at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 9-12, 2019), which takes place on the campus of Western Michigan University. Please send an abstract to the contact email address (