Romance in Middle-earth

14th annual Tolkien in Vermont conference at UVM

April 7 – 8, 2016

Friday evening Tolkien fireside readings 2017

Organized and hosted by The Tolkien Club of UVM

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Lafayette Hall L207: 8:00 – 5:00 p.m.

8:00 – 8:30: Continental breakfast with coffee & tea

8:30 – 9:00: Session #1

• Freawaru and Tolkien’s Beowulf

Dr. Christoper T. Vaccaro • Senior Lecturer • University of Vermont

• The broken sword, a meme: Beowulf, Arthur, and Elendil

Zachary Dilbeck • Columbus State Community College

9:30 – 10:45: Session #2

• The tale of Turin, a hapless helpless boy with a doom for failed romance

Gerry Blair • independent scholar

• Ill-met by moonlight: Aredhel and Eöl as the upside down of Beren and Lúthien

Katherine Neville • Signum University

• “Thus wrote Pengolodh”: Historical bias, its evidence, and its implications in The Silmarillion

Dawn M. Walls-Thumma • Coventry Village School

10:45 – 12:00: Session #3

• Far-away places with strange-sounding names: Endonyms (autonyms), exonyms (xenonyms), and the romance of Tolkien’s toponymy of Middle-earth; or, On the redundancy of Bree-hill, the heady topper of the Brandywine, and how the discovery of Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth by Blackwell’s Rare Books in Oxford extricates Pauline Baynes’s cartographic reputation from the fens of Nîn-in-Eilph

Erik Mueller-Harder • independent scholar

• “I have loved you, and that love shall not fail”: Tolkien’s philological explorations of friendship, love, and romance in The Lord of the Rings

Dr. Marc Zender • Assistant Professor • Tulane University

• “And with him was Elrond Half-Elven”: The high king and his herald (still a better love story than Twilight)

Dr. Kristine Larsen • Professor of Physics and Astronomy • Central Connecticut State University

12:00 – 12:45: Keynote

• The turning point in Tolkien’s career

Dr. Corey Olsen • Signum University

12:45 – 1:45: Lunch

1:45 – 3:00: Session #4

• Dispelling misogyny in Tolkien’s women — through reflection of Medieval lyric and personal relationships

Annie Brust • Kent State University

• Sounds in the dark: Assimilation and continuity in The Hobbit: An unexpected journey

Jeffrey Bullins • SUNY Plattsburgh

• Weberian “vocation” in The Lord of the Rings

Paul Fortunato • University of Houston-Downtown

3:00: Coffee and tea

3:00 – 4:30: Session #5

• “Warm as sunlight, cold as frost in the stars” — Tolkien’s exploration of courtly relationships through the Lady Galadriel

Andrew Peterson • Harvard University

• Romance and romance

James Williamson • Senior Lecturer • University of Vermont


• The evolution of the animal to magical beast in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings

Heather Dail • Instructor • University of South Alabama