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Friday, September 3

9:00pm BST

Languages Q&A
A chance to put all the questions you have ever wanted to ask about Tolkien's languages to one of the foremost authorities - Carl F. Hostetter.

We will be asking for questions in advance to give us a chance to consolidate them so we can cover as much ground as possible in the time. 

avatar for Carl F. Hostetter

Carl F. Hostetter

Carl F. Hostetter is the editor of The Nature of Middle-earth, which is being published on the first day of Oxonmoot 2021. He is a Tolkien scholar who has been previously entrusted with Tolkien’s linguistic materials, which he has published in the journal Vinyar Tengwar. He also... Read More →

Friday September 3, 2021 9:00pm - 10:00pm BST
0.1 Online Only (Meeting Strand)

11:30pm BST

The Influence of J.R.R. Tolkien on Kentaro Miura--How Lord of the Rings Helped Inspire Berserk
In this paper, I argue that Lord of the Rings has a major impact on Kentaro Miura's Berserk--I analyze the similarities between Tolkien's text and Miura's Berserk panels. I dissect how the themes of good and evil are similar and the ways in which Miura borrowed from Lord of the Rings, in order to create his own original creatures. Importantly, I look at the hero's journey throughout Lord of the Rings, and how these themes are reflected throughout Berserk. Kentaro Miura's interviews, where he discusses his inspiration for Berserk, will be taken into account. Miura recently passed away, and left a legacy as deep and intense as Tolkien did. My work, marries the two greats together, and analyzes how they are similar, the ways Tolkien influenced Miura, and what other sources the two authors took inspiration from.

avatar for Minna Nizam

Minna Nizam

In 2017, Minna Nizam graduated from Drew University with a degree in Art History and History, while minoring in Medieval Studies. Currently, Minna is a second year graduate student at Sarah Lawrence College pursuing an M.A in Women's History. Minna is also working on a fantasy series... Read More →

Friday September 3, 2021 11:30pm - Saturday September 4, 2021 12:00am BST
0 - Online only (Webinar Strand)
Saturday, September 4

12:00am BST

Quis enim laesos impune putaret esse deos?: Ents, Sacred Groves, and the Cost of Desecration
Seneca the Younger, in his Letters, describes a sacred grove as a “thick grove of ancient trees which rise far above the usual height and block the view of the sky with their umbrella of intertwining branches” (Seneca the Younger Letters 41.3). Fangorn Forest is clearly a sacred site as defined by Seneca, made even more sacred by the presence of the Ents. Thus, to violate it would Thus, to violate it would be a terrible act of desecration, as Lucan, in the quote from the title of this talk, suggests in describing Caesar’s desecration of the sacred grove at Massilia. After exploring the relationship between Ents and sacred groves, the second half of the paper will compare the fate of Caesar to that of Saruman, who violated Fangorn Forest. Just as Augoustakis (2006) argues that the violation of the grove echoes Caesar's death, so too Saruman’s death at the hands of Wormtongue act as fitting punishment for his violation of Fangorn.

avatar for Alicia Matz

Alicia Matz

Alicia Matz began her PhD career at Boston University in the fall of 2017. She earned her BA in Classics in 2015 from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, and her MA in Classics from Rutgers University in 2017. Her research interests include Augustan literature, politics... Read More →

Saturday September 4, 2021 12:00am - 12:30am BST
0 - Online only (Webinar Strand)

12:30am BST

When Enchantment Turns Rigid: The Scouring of the Shire
"The Scouring of the Shire" creates a shocking change of mood in "The Lord of the Rings." Although the reader has been immersed in the sadness of fading enchantments, and Merry's comment as the hobbits approach the Shire that "It seems almost like a dream that has slowly faded" is consistent with this mood of quiet disenchantment, Frodo's response that "To me it feels more like falling asleep again" suggests that the hobbits are about to encounter a different kind of enchantment. Indeed, the Shire has fallen under the rigid spell of totalitarianism because Lotho and a few others found meaning in their lives by submitting to a selfish Chief. This shift in mood from wondrous enchantment to totalitarianism depicts a vulnerability of enchanted experience that Tolkien saw play out in Nazi Germany ("...perverting...that noble northern spirit...which I have ever loved"--Letters 45) and that we can recognize in alt-right fascination with Tolkien and medievalism.

avatar for John Rosegrant

John Rosegrant

John Rosegrant's book Tolkien, Enchantment, and Loss: Steps on the Developmental Journey will be published later this year. John has loved Tolkien's works since The Hobbit was read to him when he was six. He grew up to be a psychoanalyst who has helped adults, teens, and children... Read More →

Saturday September 4, 2021 12:30am - 1:00am BST
0 - Online only (Webinar Strand)

1:00am BST

"Slain ye Shall be": Eschatological Morality and the House of Fëanor in The Silmarillion
This paper expands on existing analyses of the eschatology of Tolkien’s invented mythology by seeking to understand its relationship to Tolkien's exploration of morality, primarily in The Silmarillion. With consideration given to Tolkien’s medieval and spiritual influences, this paper offers new insights into the text by engaging closely with the often overlooked story of the sons of Fëanor. It finds that this throughline narrative functions as an important vehicle through which Tolkien explores and complicates ideas of morality and mortality, as the narrative treatment of the Fëanorians highlights the complex relationship between morality and processes of death and afterlife, often employed as a reward for heroism or a punishment for evil. It is because of these complexities that The Silmarillion is able to communicate its central emotional thrust: fatalistic faith and Tolkienian eucatastrophe.

avatar for Ash Anteau

Ash Anteau

Ash Anteau is a postgraduate independent scholar from Bowling Green, Ohio. She has been a Tolkien fan since childhood, and a Tolkien scholar since she began researching and writing about The Silmarillion while pursuing her undergraduate degree. Beyond Tolkien, her interests include... Read More →

Saturday September 4, 2021 1:00am - 1:30am BST
0 - Online only (Webinar Strand)

11:30pm BST

Treasure, Balrogs, and Environmental Exploitation: Anti-Dwarf prejudice in the Third Age
(With coauthor Kaelyn Harris)

Dwarves are the subject of significant prejudice in Middle-earth, particularly on the part of the Elves. In the Third Age, this prejudice is most apparent in the jailing of Thorin’s company by Thranduil, Celeborn’s attribution of the devastation of the Balrog to the Dwarves, and Legolas’s claim that the Dwarves would destroy Aglarond. Interestingly, this prejudice seems to be shared by many scholarly and popular interpretations of The Lord of the Rings: scholars consider the Dwarves basically greedy, interested in accumulating wealth and unconcerned with the natural world, and Peter Jackson’s interpretation of the Dwarves, represented by Gimli, participates in this narrative. However, these perspectives neglect to consider the Dwarves fairly, especially rejecting Dwarven perspectives of their own culture. This paper will explore three instances of anti-Dwarf prejudice in the Third Age, endeavoring to give the Dwarves a more fair reading.

avatar for Kenton Sena

Kenton Sena

Lecturer, Lewis Honors College, University of Kentucky
Kenton Sena holds a B.A. in Biology from Asbury University, and an M.S. in Forestry and a Ph.D. in Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Kentucky. His research and professional interests include urban forest ecology, forest restoration, and ecology and the environment... Read More →

Saturday September 4, 2021 11:30pm - Sunday September 5, 2021 12:00am BST
0 - Online only (Webinar Strand)
Sunday, September 5

12:00am BST

Rivendell, the Place of Leisure
Many philosophers define leisure as the goal of human activity, with leisure being defined as stepping out of the world to re-collect one's self. It is the realm of art and contemplation. My paper will look at the ways Rivendell is a place of leisure throughout the books, as a bookend to adventure and a fitting place to retire to. Being that leisure activities, like art, are done to be enjoyed in and of themselves, they provide an escape from the world. I will also connect Rivendell as a place of leisure to the need for escape that Tolkien discusses in On Fairy-Stories and how that can shape how we view leisure in our modern world.

avatar for Ian Barnstead

Ian Barnstead

Ian is a high school religion teacher in Western Kentucky. After reading The Hobbit in high school, he began a lifelong journey in Tolkien's works. An amateur scholar, he often uses Tolkien in philosophy lessons.

Sunday September 5, 2021 12:00am - 12:30am BST
0 - Online only (Webinar Strand)

12:30am BST

‘A Song of Greater Power’: Analyzing Christian Figures in Sir Orfeo and The Lay of Leithian
My paper aims to compare the medieval lay "Sir Orfeo" with J.R.R. Tolkien’s "The Lay of Leithian", as I believe that Tolkien intentionally borrowed from this romance in the construction of his own work. I initially analyze the form and meter of both poems in order to show how heavily Tolkien borrows from the medieval work. After this, I argue that Tolkien views Orfeo as a Christian figure, whose suffering and ultimate salvation mirrors the individual Christian journey towards salvation. However, in an attempt to update this work, Tolkien recreates and expands upon the original by divvying up Orfeo's role between two characters, a man and a woman. In the same way "Sir Orfeo" updated the original Orpheus myth to be relatable to medieval Christians, I ultimately argue that Tolkien is expanding upon this definition even further by including women, and thus making his work more reflective of the modern Christian experience.

avatar for Mitchell Milam

Mitchell Milam

Mitchell Milam recently got his Master of Arts in English at Texas Tech University. Milam has presented at two previous conferences, the South Central Renaissance Conference and the Arts and Humanities Graduate Student Research Conference. While Milam presented on Shakespeare and... Read More →

Sunday September 5, 2021 12:30am - 1:00am BST
0 - Online only (Webinar Strand)

1:00am BST

Tolkien's Tragedy: Exploring the Children of Hurin
I have been working on consolidating versions of the Children of Hurin and writing essays related to it as a personal project and this talk is a condensed one based on a Second Breakfast Smial presentation I gave following Oxonmoot 2020.

The goal is to have readers consider how Tolkien presented himself as a translator of history, that one version of a story may be perspective based and not ‘more correct’ than another, to meet the authors and translators of the stories including Dirhavel (Unfinished Tales), Aelfwine (War of the Jewels), Penegold the Wise of Gondolin (Shaping of Middle Earth), Eltas (The Book of Lost Tales 2) and to consider how these stories are similar and different particularly the endings.

In this talk I plan to address some high-level topics:
  • My Approach to Reading Tolkien
  • The Standard Story Structure
  • The Versions/Volumes of the Children of Hurin & the Authors and Translators of Each
  • The Story Endings:
  • Deaths of the Family Members Due to the Curse
  • The Wanderings of Hurin

avatar for Ross Nunamaker

Ross Nunamaker

Ross Nunamaker is a graduate of the University of Arizona, with a degree in interdisciplinary studies in history, philosophy and political science, He later received a certification in project management at Cal-Berkeley.He joined the Tolkien Society on 1 January following the online... Read More →

Sunday September 5, 2021 1:00am - 1:30am BST
0 - Online only (Webinar Strand)

12:15pm BST

A folly without warrant: Farmer Giles, place-names and philology
armer Giles, book-Latin, place-names and a German philologist.

avatar for David Doughan

David Doughan

TS member since 1981. See entry on me in Tolkien Gateway.

Sunday September 5, 2021 12:15pm - 12:45pm BST
0 - Online only (Webinar Strand)

12:45pm BST

Tolkien's Suitcase
I have been wondering, failing any information from those two reliable biographers Carpenter and Garth, just how Tolkien’s personal effects: books, student notes, papers, drawings, and clothes, survived between his leaving Oxford for the army, and then reuniting with Edith and with his possessions after he came back to England. His younger brother Hilary had already gone into the army, and I assume he didn’t travel to Jane Neave’s home, to leave possessions there.  

I therefore conjectured a suitcase, perhaps the one which he took to Oxford when he went up, and which he would not need for the army, and filled it with fairly lightweight and very important items which Edith would look after for him. Having listed its likely contents, I began to compile a list of all the other items which we know survived the War, and are still extant today, and considered where they could have been stored.

avatar for Jessica Yates

Jessica Yates

Jessica Yates read English at LMH Oxford, qualified as a librarian in London, and joined the Tolkien Society in 1972; she is thus one of its longest serving members. She has served as Secretary and Amon Hen editor in the 1970s, was a founder member of Oxonmoot, and has published many... Read More →

Sunday September 5, 2021 12:45pm - 1:15pm BST
0 - Online only (Webinar Strand)

1:15pm BST

The Dúnadan’s Burden? Or, examining shades of imperialism in Tolkien’s Second Age tales. 
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 SR Westvik

SR Westvik

SR Westvik is a graduate of International Relations currently pursuing an MA in International War Studies. A lifelong Tolkien fan, they previously presented on Second Age politics at the Tolkien 2019 conference, and have been active as a musician and writer in the fandom for nearly... Read More →

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