Legacies of Tolkien's Whiteness in Contemporary Medievalisms

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Tales after Tolkien Society

A roundtable session at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University (www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress) examining the continuing effects of Tolkien's depictions of race in medievalist works; Rachel Cooper will preside.

Much criticism directs itself towards racial studies and postcolonial readings of the works of JRR Tolkien, arguing whether his works should be regarded as racist and what attitudes contemporary readers would be well served to adopt in response to them. Much attention in popular media has directed itself towards the use of medieval and medievalist works such as Tolkien's by white supremacist groups to offer themselves pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-historical support for their execrable agendas. The session looks for ways in which contemporary medievalist work (hopefully) unintentionally supports such efforts and what can be done to oppose them as things deserving all opposition.

Short proposals are welcome; please send to talesaftertolkien@gmail.com on or before 15 September 2019. Proposals from graduate students, those outside traditional academe, and traditionally underrepresented groups are especially welcome.