DEADLINE EXTENDED: Tolkien’s Medievalism in Ruins II: Relics and Ruins in Re/Visions of Tolkien’s Larger Legendarium at NeMLA 2024

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Carl Sell and Nick Katsiadas / Slippery Rock University and University of Pittsburgh

With the success of two panel sessions at the 2023 NeMLA Convention, we are happy to propose a “sequel” session on the theme of “Tolkien’s Medievalism in Ruins” in 2024. For all that may be said about the 2023 panels, one thing is certain: The panelists highlighted the important roles of relics and ruins within Tolkien’s essay “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics,” The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings. While we certainly covered much ground, there is a great deal left to explore, especially within The History of Middle-earth series, The Silmarillion, and the texts that Christopher Tolkien edited and published after his father’s death (The Children of Húrin, Beren and Lúthien, The Fall of Gondolin, The Fall of Númenor). We are concerned with including presentations about the larger legendarium, and we are equally concerned with opening this sequel session to the surplus of adaptations from Tolkien’s works, including: Peter Jackson’s adaptations, Rankin & Bass adaptations, Ralph Bakshi's adaptation, Amazon's The Rings of Power, video game adaptations, graphic representations, and revisions.

We are pleased once again to welcome proposals from a variety of theoretical approaches for the 2024 NeMLA Convention in Boston. Topics and texts about Tolkien’s legendarium may include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

  • Ruins or relics and trauma
  • Ruins or relics and war                         
  • Ruins or relics and nostalgia
  • Ruins or relics and melancholy
  • Ruins or relics and loss
  • Ruins or relics and memory
  • Ruins or relics and travel
  • Ruins or relics and Medievalism
  • Ruins or relics and Arthuriana
  • Ruins or relics and Classicism
  • Ruins or relics and Romanticism
  • Ruins or relics in the First, Second, or Third ages of Middle-earth
  • Ruins or relics in The History of Middle-earth series
  • Relics and the Silmarils
  • Relics and the Arkenstone
  • Relics and the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin
  • Relics and Bard’s Black Arrow
  • Ruins or relics in adaptations of Tolkien
  • Ruins and Tolkien's critical works
  • Ruins of Golden Ages
  • Ruins or relics in Middle-earth and their Literary History
  • Ruins or relics of Abandoned cities, locations, and peoples

We seek 250 – 300 word abstracts for presentations across periods and nations that address topics related to relics or ruins in Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Panelists should use the NeMLA conference website to submit abstracts, and abstracts should clearly delineate the presentation’s argument in relation to this theme. Once abstracts have been collected and accepted, the organizers will then confer and send acceptance letters. We ask that abstract submissions follow MLA format.

Those with inquiries may email Nick Katsiadas at and Carl Sell at