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Sunday, September 5 • 1:15pm - 1:45pm
The Dúnadan’s Burden? Or, examining shades of imperialism in Tolkien’s Second Age tales. 

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When the ills of imperialism meet the texts of Tolkien, the prime culprit for examination is, invariably, the island nation of Númenor. Yet the fallout of a world adapting to the major systemic shock of the War of Wrath is one that invites subtler forms of imperialism, presented with a benign slant in the texts that, through close reading, consideration of in-text bias, and application of both political and international relations theory, soon becomes far more insidious. Focusing criticism of Númenor on the hubris of later years minimises the original roots laid prior to the War of the Elves and Sauron, based on First Age ideas endorsing Númenoreans taking up the burden of aiding Middle-earth. It also sidesteps the enduring cultural imperialism of the Elves, both Noldor and Sindar. This paper will review the origins of imperialism in the Second Age of Middle-earth as a function of the exceptionalism cultivated in the First Age – and in doing so, illuminate its legacy in later Ages.

avatar for S.R. Westvik

S.R. Westvik

SR Westvik is finishing an MA in International War Studies from University College Dublin and the University of Potsdam. They're an International Trustee of the Tolkien Society and Co-host of the Tolkien Experience Podcast. A lifelong Tolkien fan, they regularly participate in conferences... Read More →

Sunday September 5, 2021 1:15pm - 1:45pm BST
0 - Online only (Webinar Strand)