Legacies of Tolkien's Whiteness in Contemporary Medievalisms
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. ***This is a re-proposed session from the cancelled 2020 Congress.***
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 firstname.lastname@example.org on or before 15 September 2020. Proposals from graduate students, those outside traditional academe, and traditionally underrepresented groups are especially welcome.