I got word last week: UVM’s Tolkien in Vermont conference has accepted my proposal for a presentation for its upcoming, 16th annual conference, Tolkien and Horror. The conference is a neat, two-day event that the university’s English department hosts. In line with this year’s topic, I’ll be talking about the impact of Tolkien’s experiences during the First World war had on him, and his fiction.
Tolkien, of course, participated in the conflict, and it left him profoundly shaken. I’ve presented at this a couple of times already — in 2014 and 2015, mainly about Tolkien’s impact on fantasy. I also spoke at Norwich University’s Sullivan Library back in 2016 on a related topic, although this year’s paper will delve a bit more into wartime imagery worked its way into Tolkien’s Middle-earth — think Frodo, Sam, and Gollum’s trek over the Dead Marshes in The Two Towers, where they encounter the dead from an ancient battle.
This year’s conference will take place on April 5th and 6th (my talk will be on the 6th, although I’m not sure what time, exactly) at UVM in Burlington. It’s open to the public — tickets are $25 ($15 if you’re from Vermont, and free for UVM students), and the last couple of times that I’ve gone, it’s been a delightful, enlightening afternoon. If you can’t make it, i’ll probably include my presentation in my newsletter.