The Tolkien Society invites submissions for papers to be presented at its seminar at York’s historic Bar Convent on 30th July 2011, on the theme of “Tolkien’s Trees”. This gives scope for interdisciplinary dialogue amongst papers on the trees, gardens, woods, forests, and forest dwellers of Middle-earth and elsewhere in Tolkien’s works, and our understandings of them or what they may signify. Papers are invited from academics, students and independent scholars.
Call for Papers
There are many kinds of trees in the works of Tolkien. Trees, woods, forests, and tree-like beings appear in various parts of 'The Hobbit', 'The Lord of the Rings', 'The Silmarillion', 'Smith of Wootton Major', and of course 'Leaf by Niggle'. Some of these are special, magical, and inspirational, and others are dark, frightening, or ominous; from the Old Forest to the Golden Wood of Lothlorien, the Ents of Fangorn or the malice of Old Man Willow. Trees may also carry symbolic values that may be explored and considered such as the White Tree of Gondor. There is scope for considering ecology theory and the way Tolkien's depictions of trees in relation to various created societies and characters pre-dates the rise of actual ecology theory; and while his treatment of trees may open up moral insights, they offer options for interpretation that are more in tune with modern perceptions.
Participants are free to draw on any part of Tolkien’s oeuvre, or to follow a thematic line within one text, or one text in its variant forms (draft ms, published work, or amended edition). Papers/presentations may be either 20 or 45 minutes long to fit into half-hour or hour slots with a ten to fifteen minute question/discussion session. Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words. Send your proposal, and a short biography to edsec AT tolkiensociety.org
Abstracts must be received by June 30th, 2011.
The Bar Convent is a working convent just 15 minutes walk from York railway station. Lake Evendim Smial will organise Innmoots on the Friday and Saturday evenings and depending on interest we may arrange a tour of York Brewery at 5pm on Friday (£6 for adults); a group meal on Friday evening; a group walk around York on Sunday morning; and/or a group visit to Duncombe Park near Helmsley to see the trees (c. £10). More details will be sent to those who register and any charges for these will be payable on the day.
The cost of places at the seminar includes refreshments on arrival, mid morning and mid afternoon. Lunch is not provided, however the licensed café at the convent will be open and there are many other places where you can eat lunch within a short walk. The seminar itself will start at 10:00 and finish by 17:00.
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