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Anna Smol

Date: 2008-08-16 22:33
Subject: Canadian Society of Medievalists at Kalamazoo 2009
Security: Public
Call for Papers

"Borders, Thresholds, Margins: Exploring the Middle Ages"

Canadian Society of Medievalists
International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo May 7-10, 2009

This session is open to all approaches to the topic.  Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a Participant Information form by September 15, 2008 to:

Dr. Anna Smol
President, CSM
Department of English
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada  B3M 2J6
Email:  anna.smol@msvu.ca
Fax: 902-457-6455

More information about the conference can be found on the ICMS website.  
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Date: 2008-08-16 21:21
Subject: Call for papers: Tolkien at Kalamazoo 2009
Security: Public
The Call for Papers is out for next year's Tolkien at Kalamazoo sessions, May 7-10. Proposals should be sent to the organizer, Dr. Robin Reid, at the address below.

Robin Anne Reid
Texas A&M Univ.–Commerce
Dept. of Literature and Languages
Commerce, TX 75429
Phone: 903-886-5268
Fax: 903-886-5980


Tolkien's Poetry and Song: Paper Session: Songs and formal poetry play a vital part in Tolkien's Legendarium, from his creation myth to the use of song as a method of historical transmission. He wrote original poetry written in Old English as well as translating major medieval works. The growing critical movement away from early dismissal of his poetry to considering his work in the context of modern war poetry as well as medieval aesthetics will be the topic of this session.

Tolkien's Revisions and Contradictions: Paper Session: The publication of the twelve-volume History of Middle-earth series as well as other publications edited by Christopher Tolkien offer scholars a unique chance to analyze the process of revisions undergone by Tolkien from his first linguistic creations during World War I to work produced just before his death. Tolkien's revisions and contradictions offer an area for critical scholarship that has just begun to explore the work through archival work as well as drawing on the published manuscripts.

The Children of Húrin: Paper Session: The publication of a novel based on one of the early myths of Tolkien's First Age provides a new text for scholarly work. After this year's roundtable, the need for sustained analytical papers was clear. 

Teaching Tolkien: Roundtable: The demand for more classes on Tolkien's work at all levels is growing. With the MLA's approval for a "Teaching Tolkien" volume in their Teaching series, this session will focus on a range of approaches for Teaching Tolkien at the college level.

Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories": Roundtable: The publication of a definitive edition of Tolkien's seminal essay, along with variants and excluded material, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Doug Anderson, provides an opportunity for scholars to examine the implications of Tolkien's ideas on modern literature and fantasy.

Tolkien Unbound: Friday evening Performance:
"Songs for Philologists" Douglas Anderson (directing)
"Baldor's Saga" writer/director John Wm. Houghton 

More information about the conference is available on the Congress website.

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Date: 2008-05-25 13:08
Subject: Tolkien and Myth-Making - Special Topic course
Security: Public
Tags:fandom, medieval, tolkien

ENGL 4401, Special Topic: 
Tolkien and Myth-Making

l am once again offering a senior-level, full-year course, "Tolkien and Myth-Making," starting this September at MSVU. It's listed as ENGL 4401, Special Topic. If you take this course, you'll learn about Tolkien's work; you'll learn about medieval literature; you'll be reading material on fandom, myth, and fantasy -- and yes, we'll be looking at Peter Jackson's films too. There's lots to do from September to April! You don't have to know anything about Tolkien, medieval literature, or fandom in order to take this course, but I'll welcome anyone who is a fan and who can add an experienced perspective on fanfic, vidding, gaming, cosplay, and other topics of discussion. Please remember, though, that this class is an academic course that requires rigorous analysis of Tolkien's literature and its associated cultural phenomena. In other words, if you think of yourself as a fan, you'll have to negotiate being an "aca-fan," an identity that will itself be a topic of discussion. If you don't think of yourself as a fan of any kind, welcome to the course as well -- you'll learn something about a broad range of literature and contemporary culture, and your perspective will be valuable in assessing our topics of discussion.

If you're an MSVU English student who needs to fulfil historical requirements, this course counts as a half unit in modern and a half unit in medieval literature. If you're an MSVU Cultural Studies major, this course can also count toward your degree. Students from outside MSVU may qualify to take this course on a letter of permission, but check with your home department first. There are still a few spaces left in the class.  The class is scheduled for Monday nights, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

For more information, you can go to the
Tolkien and Myth-Making homepage. 

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Date: 2008-03-17 12:49
Subject: Tolkien and medievalism at Kalamazoo
Security: Public
Tags:tolkien medievalism medieval
Well, the schedule is online, all 602 sessions (that’s not including open bars, the Saturday night dance, lunch meetings, and entertainments). Obviously, the International Congress on Medieval Studies, at the University of Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, with about 3,000 participants, has more than enough going on to keep medievalists happy. As a medievalist, I find that the difficulty with this conference is always having to decide among the three or four (or more!) things going on concurrently that I want to hear. And there’s plenty of stuff on the schedule for those just interested in Tolkien or in medievalism generally.

If you click on sessions you’ll be able to find the session numbers and paper titles for each day of the conference. Or, for my own listing of sessions on Tolkien and on medievalism, you can go to
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Date: 2008-01-14 23:17
Subject: Tolkien conference at the University of Vermont
Security: Public
Just what I like to hear: an extension of the deadline for a conference paper proposal I want to submit! The following information is from Christopher Vaccaro, who organizes the annual Tolkien conference at the University of Vermont. I've been to this conference before and found it a small, friendly, stimulating day of papers. Here is the announcement:

This April 11-13th, 2008 is the 5th Annual Tolkien conference at the University of Vermont.

The conference committee is looking for papers specific to Norse and Celtic influences, but is accepting abstracts on all subjects.

The keynote speaker this year is Marjorie Burns.

The deadline for abstracts has been extended until January 31st.
Please send submissions to cvaccaro _at _ uvm.edu
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Date: 2008-01-11 17:22
Subject: Final call for papers, Canadian Society of Medievalists
Security: Public
Here's an announcement for any medievalists out there:

The Canadian Society of Medievalists will be meeting June 1-3 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, as part of the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The general theme of the 2008 Congress is "Thinking Beyond Borders: Global Ideas, Global Values." In keeping with this theme, we have two plenary speakers:

Sheila Delany, Emerita Professor of English at Simon Fraser University, will be giving a talk entitled "Bovo Rides Again: An Old Yiddish romance, its author, and its hero." Dr. Delany's illustrated talk takes up a once-popular, now little known Old Yiddish text, the Bovo-bukh, which is based on the well known medieval romance Bevis of Hampton.

John Miles Foley, Byler Distinguished Chair in the Humanities and Curators' Professor of Classical Studies and English, as well as the Director of the Center for eResearch and Director of the Center for Studies in Oral Tradition at the University of Missouri, will talk about "Oral Tradition and the Internet." He will discuss how humankind's oldest and newest communications technologies -- oral tradition and the internet -- operate in strikingly similar ways.

The deadline for paper proposals is January 16. While proposals on the general Congress theme are welcome, submissions in all areas of medieval studies are encouraged. Proposals for complete sessions are also invited. Papers may be delivered in either English or French, and bilingual sessions are particularly welcome. Limited travel funding for graduate students will most likely be available.

Papers should be 20 minutes in length. Proposals should include a one-page abstract and a one-page curriculum vitae and should be sent to:

Dr. Anna Smol
Department of English
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3L 1X1

or by email attachment to anna.smol _at_ msvu.ca
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Date: 2007-09-21 14:29
Subject: Online Tolkien course
Security: Public
Dr. Dimitra Fimi is once again offering an online Tolkien course. She sends the following information:


Exploring Tolkien: There and Back Again (1, 2 and 3)

An on-line course, hosted by the Centre for Lifelong Learning at Cardiff University, taught in 10 weekly units.

Starting on:

1 October 2007 (Course Code: ENG07A3637A)
4 February 2008 (Course Code: ENG07A3637B)
and 5 May 2008 (Course Code: ENG07A3637C)

Tutor: Dr. Dimitra Fimi

Explore Tolkien’s Middle-earth from your home, in your own time. Find out about the vast mythology behind The Lord of the Rings, gain a thorough knowledge of Tolkien’s fiction and its creation, explore the northern European mythologies that inspired Tolkien’s Middle-earth, learn about Tolkien’s invented languages, their origins and sources, find out about the ‘races’ and the cultures of Middle-earth.

The course has been updated and enlarged to include a discussion of The Children of Húrin, the ‘new’ book by J.R.R. Tolkien, which was published in April 2007.

To find out more, visit:
Cardiff Centre: Exploring Tolkien


Course Units Outline

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Date: 2007-08-16 12:17
Subject: Tolkien at Kalamazoo 2008
Security: Public
The call for papers for the Tolkien at Kalamazoo conference is now available here. These sessions are part of the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies held in Kalamazoo Michigan every May. Yes, it's true what you've heard: literally thousands of medievalists converge on Kalamazoo every year to attend hundreds of sessions on different medieval topics, but you'll also find a good number of participants in the Tolkien meetings, and being a medievalist is not at all a requirement.
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August 2008