IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 442: The Road Goes Ever On: The Future of Tolkien Scholarship - A Round Table Discussion

Monday 3 July 2017, 19.00-20.00

Organiser:Dimitra Fimi, Department of Humanities, Cardiff Metropolitan University
Moderator/Chair:Carl L. Phelpstead, School of English, Communication & Philosophy, Cardiff University

Tolkien’s legendarium has often been approached by scholarship via the lens of medievalism. Scholars have been long interested in Tolkien’s medieval intertexts (e.g. Old and Middle English works such as Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) and such studies have established a clear view of Middle-earth as a world that engages with the heroic code, material culture, philosophical, and theological concepts, as well as fantastical beings, from the literature of the European Middle Ages. However, a more recent trend is to examine Tolkien’s work in terms of its engagement with the cultural moment(s) it was created, spanning six decades of literary and cultural history. Where is Tolkien scholarship heading? Should we move away from ‘Tolkien the medievalist’ and focus more on Tolkien as 20th-century author? And what about recent developments in literary theory? This round table discussion will debate the complexities of such questions and will interrogate scholarly practices and expectations in Tolkien Studies.

Participants include Brad Eden (Valparaiso University, Indiana), Dimitra Fimi (Cardiff Metropolitan University), Thomas Honegger (Institut für Anglistik, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena), and Michael Wodzak (Viterbo University, Wisconsin).