Sunday, March 9, 2014

New Tolkien collection — and a new publication credit

A little more than two years ago now, I received an interesting inquiry from Didier Willis, the President of “Le Dragon de Brume”, a small French non-profit association promoting J.R.R. Tolkien and publishing essays about him and his works. In their own words, “créée en octobre 2010, le Dragon de Brume a pour objet de promouvoir, par la diffusion ou la représentation d’études et de travaux de recherche, la connaissance des œuvres de l’auteur britannique J.R.R. Tolkien dans le monde francophone.” It seems they had published their first collection the summer before (that is, 2011), called Tolkien, le façonnement d’un monde, Vol. 1: Botanique et Astronomie. As part of that collection of essays on Middle-earth botany and astronomy, they’d translated and reprinted an essay by Kristine Larsen. How could they not, seeing as Kris is the world’s greatest expert in the intersection of Tolkien and astronomy?

They were, it transpired, beginning work on a companion volume, and Didier was writing to request permission to translate and reprint another of Kris’s essays, this time “Sea Birds and Morning Stars: Ceyx, Alcyone, and the Many Metamorphoses of Eärendil and Elwing”, which attentive readers will know was published in my own book, Tolkien and the Study of His sources: Critical Essays. I was certainly amenable — Kris’s essay is a fantastic one, and I was thrilled it might be read more widely, and perhaps even lead some readers back to my book (follow and share the link!) — and the rest of the permissions issues were quickly worked out. Two years ago this month, they began their work on it.

Some months later (now we are up to November, 2012), Didier wrote me again. He had been discussing the permissions involved in reprinting one of his own articles, written for l’Arc et le Heaume, a publication of Tolkiendil, another, larger French non-profit promoting Tolkien. Coincidentally, one of my own essays, “La Jeune Fille Elfe dans la Forêt: Une Image Récurrente chez Tolkien” (previously unpublished), had been translated and printed in l’Arc et le Heaume. Didier’s essay inquired into the possibilities of sourcing Tolkien’s conception of Númenor in a curious medieval mappa mundi (collected in Cotton Tiberius B.v), which depicts a star-shaped island near the Pillars of Hercules in the Strait of Gibraltar. They really do look alike, two asterisks in the ocean. How appropriate for an asterisk-reality! Didier went on to make the responsible search all scholars make for other research bearing on their own, and this led him to another essay dealing with Tolkien and mappae mundi. Care to guess?

Indeed, this was my own essay, “Sourcing Tolkien’s ‘Circles of the World’: Speculations on the Heimskringla, the Latin Vulgate Bible, and the Hereford Mappa Mundi”, which appeared in a collection called Middle-earth and beyond: Essays on the World of J.R.R. Tolkien. So, Didier wanted to work out permission to translate and reprint this article, to appear alongside his own. All the parties were in agreement, and this work commenced.

At long last, I am thrilled to report that Tolkien, le façonnement d’un monde, Vol. 2: Astronomie et Géographie has now appeared — this very month in fact. And in it are Kris’s essay and mine. You can read about the collection and peruse its full table of contents by following this link.

I happen to have before me print copies of both volumes — thank you very much, Didier! — and they are quite nice! No indexes, alas, but they make up for it by the inclusion of a lot of carefully chosen illustrations, maps, and figures. Alongside Didier’s and my essays, for example, are reproductions of the mappae mundi being discussed. Alongside Kris’s essay are reproductions of manuscript pages from Christine de Pizan and Guillaume de Machaut from the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

I highly recommend both volumes for anyone with an interest in Tolkien and the ability to read French. That’s probably a lot of you. I haven’t read the entire two-volume set yet — only a few essays so far, like the translations of Kris’s and mine, Didier’s and one or two others — but the range of subject matter is impressive, even within each volume’s deliberately narrow scope. Some of the scholars’ names are already familiar ones — Damien Bador, Bertrand Bellet, and of course Didier Willis (who alone has six essay in the two volumes!) — while others are new to me, as I am no doubt new to them. But that’s part of the fun and excitement of reading a collection assembled halfway around the world. Different voices, different histories, different cultures of reception. Yet through it all, the Professor, his magnificent creations, and our shared admiration for them.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Brief History of The Hobbit

On the Tolkien Society’s Facebook page, Neil Holford recently shared a link to a forthcoming book, A Brief History of The Hobbit, by John Rateliff and J.R.R. Tolkien, to be published this coming September by HarperCollins. At 400 pages and priced at £9.99, it’s clearly not the same two-volume treatment I reviewed in Mythlore almost six years ago. But what is it, exactly? An abridgment, I presumed, but to find out more, I went straight to the source. John Rateliff, after all, is practically my next-door neighbor! :)

John clarified the scope of the project, and he doesn’t mind my sharing, so here you go. It is indeed an abridgment of the one-volume revised edition, in which John’s goal is “to reduce the size of the book by half without leaving out any of the Tolkien. […] You could say the original edition was Tolkien and Rateliff in roughly equal portion, while this version will be mostly Tolkien.”

In other words, what John is pruning is his own commentary and notes. He’s cutting that down aggressively, aiming to preserve only the essentials, and leaving mostly just the original draft text of The Hobbit. It should be a welcome addition for those fans who might have found the complete History a bit overwhelming — although personally, I revel in minutiae. Likewise, it will be a convenient copy to have nearby for when one need only refer to the draft text of the novel. The original treatment can be just a bit unwieldy when one only wants to look up a draft passage and nothing more. This will give us the best of both worlds. Looking forward to it!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Stepping down from Mythprint

Hello, friends. The title of this blog post pretty much says it all, and many of you may have heard this announcement already somewhere else. But after roughly four years, I am stepping down as editor of Mythprint. I’ll stay on for a little while during the transitional period, but the more important thing is that the Mythopoeic Society is in immediate need of a new editor! If any of you are interested, please let me know.

And for any of you who don’t receive Mythprint already, I thought I’d copy the farewell editorial from my last issue here:

This is a bittersweet moment. After nearly four years and thirty-five issues — certainly not as many as some illustrious Mythprint editors of yore, but not the shortest tenure either — the time has come for me to step down as editor. The issue you are now reading is my last one, following which the leadership in the Mythopoeic Society will be actively searching for a new editor. I will be remaining on hand for a little while to advise and assist in the transition, but I won’t be producing new issues of Mythprint from this point forward.

Some have asked me privately why I’ve made this decision, and I don’t mind answering that question publicly. Over the past year or two, my work schedule, home obligations, and personal research and writing projects have all become more demanding and have more than taken over, meaning that I no longer have the kind of time that Mythprint requires — and deserves. I had hoped that changing the schedule to a quarterly cadence would have made the difference and that I’d have been able to hold on another few years, but unfortunately, it hasn’t helped as much as I’d wished. I also think it’s time for someone new, with new ideas and more time and energy than I can give. I had actually reached this decision some time ago, but I didn’t want to leave the Society’s leadership body while we were still a Steward short of our full complement, but since David Emerson has come on as Webmaster, now the right time for my exit.

I lay down the mantle feeling really good about what I’ve accomplished during my time as editor — perhaps most importantly, bringing Mythprint into the digital age with electronic subscriptions. This in turn has led to an increase in the number of international members, which I think is very good for the Society. I’ve published some important pieces over the last four years, including interviews, Mythcon and other conference reports, anniversary celebrations, the Glen GoodKnight memorial issue, and more than 120 reviews of books, films, and stage productions. The number of subscribers jumped dramatically in the months following my assuming the post, up by more than 100 at one point, to a six-year high of 395 (possibly longer; I only have numbers going back to November 2006). Subscribers have gone up and down since then, but are still averaging near record high numbers since November 2006. So I can resign on what I feel is a very positive note.

So as I said, Mythprint is in need of a new editor! If you are interested in assuming the post, then the Mythopoeic Society’s Council of Stewards would like to hear from you! If you have questions about the job, I will be very happy to answer them. And I will be around to assist the new editor with getting started and in making contacts (publishing, contributing, and otherwise). It’s a very rewarding job and a great chance for one of you to give something back to the Society that gives all of us so much. For now, farewell and thank you all for your support and feedback over these past four years.

Best wishes,
Jason Fisher
Editor (outgoing), Mythprint

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Commenting on Lingwë

I have been fighting a losing battle with spam here on Lingwë for the last couple of years. Originally, I wanted to allow anyone to comment, even anonymously, with no obstacles to avoid or hoops to jump through. That worked for a while, but eventually I started to get enough anonymous spam that I decided to require people to be registered somewhere and to have logged in. That solved the problem for quite a while too, though it did inconvenience a few regular readers. I am pretty firmly against captchas. I hate them myself, so I never wanted to inflict them on anyone. So, this was the state of things until this year.

But now, thanks to Google+, which I must say is one of the most annoying and pushy social media efforts I have ever seen, I have a new problem. Well, not that new, really. I've been putting up with it for most of a year. These spammers are registered with Google+, and so they evade that obstacle I placed on commenting: being registered and logged in somewhere. A number of people (or bots) have been repeatedly spamming Lingwë from their Google+ accounts, always Google+ — especially one pathetic jackass, Brad Maddox; just take a look at his Google+ page for spam, spam, spam, and nothing but spam! — and Google has done absolutely nothing in response to my repeated complaints. In fact, Google+ used to have a conspicuous link to report offenders, but it has either removed or hidden it. One can only guess why. Shame on you, Google. As if the YouTube/Google+ commenting debacle weren't bad enough press.

Anyway, I have finally had to enable comment moderation. I didn't want to do this, because it puts a burden on me of approving every single comment, even the legitimate ones, and this will introduce some latency into discussions. In exchange, though, I have re-enabled anonymous comments. You are now welcome to comment anonymously if you wish — though I still prefer to know who you are, unless you have a good reason to remain secretive about that — and in all cases, I'll be approving comments, and rejecting the garbage. Still no captchas, though. You're welcome! :)

Maybe these spammers will realize their comments are now going nowhere and give up. Though I doubt it. Professional spammers tend to be some of the dullest dullards ever spawned. I think you could hit one over the head with a frying pan each time he spam-commented, and he still wouldn't make the connection.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Desolation of Smaug

I enjoyed it very much. I thought it was better than part one by quite a bit — and I’m willing to predict its being the best of the three. Without spoiling anything, I enjoyed most of Peter Jackson’s additions to the story, and the ones I didn’t enjoy so much were at least not particularly annoying. I can think of several changes to The Lord of the Rings in his adaptations that bothered me much more. It was exciting, beautifully shot, and once again, the high frame rate was pretty amazing. Especially for Smaug!

And that’s about all I feel compelled to say at this point. Well over 300 messages — and still counting! — have been posted to Facebook and the Mythopoeic Society email list, some of them by me, and that’s not to mention private conversations. That is surely overkill enough to render Bard’s black arrow unnecessary.

I will say one other thing: de gustibus non est disputandum. Feel free to share your opinions here, and even argue with each other, but let’s keep it civil. And as for me, I don’t intend to argue with anyone. :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In the new volume of Tolkien Studies …

My apologies for the extended fermata here at Lingwë. I never intended this to become a full hiatus, and the lengthiest one in the six-year history of the blog. Those of you who know me personally will know some of the reasons for it, and for those who doesn’t, suffice it to say it’s been an eventful summer.

For the occasion of my return to blogging, and at the risk of immodesty, I wanted to crow about some appearances in the most recent issue of Tolkien Studies, something I’ve done before (here, for example).

I’ll start with a few appearances in the “Bibliography (In English) for 2011”, compiled by Epstein, Bratman, and DeTardo. Here, my book, Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essays, appears, along with each of the contributors’ essays, each listed under his or her own name. In addition, three reviews of my book are noted, those by Alan Turner in Hither Shore, Mike Foster in Mythlore, and Nancy Martsch in Beyond Bree. And lastly, one of my own book reviews, of the late Dinah Hazell’s Plants of Middle-earth, published in the Journal of Inklings Studies.

Next, Merlin DeTardo offers a few choice comments in “The Year’s Work in Tolkien Studies 2010”, which I’ll quote in full. The first:
Jason Fisher offers two winning source studies. He shows how “Horns of Dawn: The Tradition of Alliterative Verse in Rohan” (Eden 7–25) further strengthen that country’s likeness to medieval England and specifically the Kingdom of Mercia. In addition to various musical relations (including Béma—the name in Rohan for the Vala, Oromë—from the Mercian word for “horn” or “trumpet”), Fisher mentionsother parallels like the dikes of Helm and Offa, respectively, guarding against invaders from the west. Presumably because it doesn’t support a connection to Rohan, Fisher doesn’t note that the law of Wihtræd he cites, requiring strangers to sound a horn or be considered a thief (ðeóf), is suggestive of Boromir’s reasons for winding his horn before departing Rivendell. Fisher also tries his hand at “Sourcing Tolkien’s ‘Circles of the World’: Speculations on the Heimskringla, the Latin Vulgate Bible, and the Hereford Mappa Mundi” (Dubs and Kaščáková 1–18) by seeking the inspiration for Aragorn’s dying description of the worldly limitations that he expects soon to transcend. Fisher identifies these in the Norse term kringla heimsins used in Ynglinga Saga, the Latin term orbis terrarum—particularly as found in Jerome’s translation of the Book of Wisdom—and medieval T-O maps, like the famous West Midlands example Fisher considers, whose border with the letters M, O, R, and S spells out “death.” Paul H. Vigor echoes Fisher in noting that the Hereford Mappa Mundi is arranged with east at the top like “Thror’s Map: Decoration or Examination?” (Mallorn 50: 50). Vigor hints vaguely at hidden meanings in Tolkien’s maps. (275–6)
And here is the second:
Jason Fisher also considers double meanings in “Dwarves, Spiders, and Murky Woods: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Wonderful Web of Words” (Mythlore 29 nos. 1–2: 5–15), an expansion of two posts made to his blog in 2009 about words in The Hobbit, particularly “attercop,” “lob,” and “Mirkwood,” with analysis of etymology in Old English, Old Norse, Swedish, Finnish (particularly the word myrkky “poison”; Fisher presumably has since noticed Tolkien’s “mirklands” in “The Story of Kullervo” [230]), and Tolkien’s invented Mágo (or Mágol). (283)
In addition to these bibliographic and review comments, it turns out that some of the contributors to the volume found reasons to cite my work, something which is always gratifying to see. Thomas Honegger, in his essay “My Most Precious Riddle: Eggs and Rings Revisited”, pointed readers to my entry on “Riddles” in the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment (which will very shortly, and finally, be appearing in softcover). He also suggested my essay, “Three Rings for—Whom Exactly? And Why? Justifying the Disposition of the Three Elven Rings” (published in Tolkien Studies 5). For those of you who read Lembas, this same essays appears in the new issue, translated into Dutch by Cécile van Zon.

Next, Benjamin Saxton cites me in his paper on “Tolkien and Bakhtin on Authorship, Literary Freedom, and Alterity”, where he observes: “Jason Fisher puts the matter very well when he writes that ‘Melkor is free to move his pieces in the great game that is the struggle for dominion over Middle-earth, but Ilúvatar made—and can change, if he wishes—the rules of the game’ (166)” (171). I’m very happy to see that somebody else appreciated my metaphor for the way free will works in Arda. Saxton goes on to say in a footnote that “Verlyn Flieger, Brian Rosebury, Matthew Dickerson, Thomas Fornet-Ponse, and Jason Fisher offer excellent discussions of the philosophical, theological, and political dimensions of fate and free will in Tolkien’s fiction” (179). The essay to which he is referring is “‘Man does as he is when he may do as he wishes’: The Perennial Modernity of Free Will”, which appears in Tolkien and Modernity, Vol. 1 (edited by Frank Weinreich and Thomas Honegger, Walking Tree Publishers, 2006).

Last of the three essayists, Claudio A. Testi makes references to chapters in my book in his essay, “Tolkien’s Work: Is it Christian or Pagan? A Proposal for a ‘Synthetic’ Approach”. The papers he makes use of are Thomas Honegger’s and John Rateliff’s. It’s a genuine pleasure to see that people are reading and even beginning to use and cite my book. I’ve stumbled on a few others of these, but I’ll save that for another day.

And finally, and certainly most obviously, there is a contribution in this year’s volume written by me. It’s a combined review of two books: Corey Olsen’s Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Mark Atherton’s There and Back Again: J.R.R. Tolkien and the Origins of The Hobbit. Spoiler alert … I had quite a few complaints about them both, but especially about Olsen’s book, which I found very disappointing. I am sorry to say I really wouldn’t recommend it to anybody who is already serious about Tolkien. It strikes me as a crib for high school or undergraduate students, I’m afraid. The space afforded me for reviewing the two books was generous (some ten pages, about 4,300 words), so I was able to dig into a lot of detail to support my impressions, and I welcome feedback — even if you disagree. I won’t try to summarize my thoughts here (any such attempt would rapidly become too lengthy, losing all sense of “summary”). But I would certainly be very interested in hearing from people who have read either book and/or my review of them. I’ve had quite a few private conversations about these two books — Olsen’s especially — and here too, I would welcome discussion of either overall impressions or of specific points. If nothing else, this is the kind of thing that books — and reviewsshould do: lead to long conversations!

Friday, June 14, 2013


But hopefully surfacing in a few weeks ... I may have a post or two before that, but I wanted everyone to know I’m still here, but juggling anvils ...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Another analog to the Doors of Durin

A few months ago, after long gestation, I made a comparison between Tolkien’s illustration of the Doors of Durin and a Jewish parokhet at a synagogue in China. As I said then, we have no reason to expect this image inspired Tolkien; the similarity is striking, but is almost certainly coincidental. There is a more definite analogy between the Jews and the Dwarves — Tolkien admitted that much — but the imagery of this particular Ark of the Torah was surely a random similarity. What seems more likely is that similar arrangements of arches, crowns, columns, etc., were a commonplace on which Tolkien drew. Likely enough a medieval one.

Well, you can imagine my surprise when I happened to see a copy of Heroes & Kings for sale on eBay. This is a collection of poems Charles Williams, published in London by The Sylvan Press, 1930. It’s also very rare — only 300 copies were printed (of which only 250 were offered for sale) — which explains the high asking price of this auction. The decoration on the cover looks rather familiar, doesn’t it? Very much like Tolkien’s Doors of Durin, with the addition of a sword.

Now, again, I am not suggesting this decoration influenced Tolkien. I don’t have any reason to think he ever saw it. Tolkien did not meet Charles Williams until 1939, and he did not particularly appreciate his creative output. “I had read or heard a good deal of his work,” he later wrote, “but found it wholly alien, and sometimes very distasteful, occasionally ridiculous” (Letters, #276). Elsewhere, he wrote, flat-out, that “I do not think we influenced one another at all!” (Letters, #159). Might Tolkien be overstating his case? This decoration is certainly much closer to him than the Jewish parokhet. Tolkien might have seen this work,  even though it was published in only 300 copies more than a decade before. But it’s a very big maybe. Even if he did, is it likely this image stuck in his head and came out again a decade later in the Doors of Durin? It doesn’t seem very likely. Unless further evidence should come to light, the more probable explanation for this similarity is that both Tolkien and Norman Janes or Hubert Foss were merely drawing water from the same well (Janes made the woodcuts in Heroes & Kings; Foss was the book designer).

But once again, it is certainly a fascinating coincidence!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society Conference

Once again, with Easter on the horizon, it’s time for another C.S. Lewis and Inklings Conference. This is their 16th annual gathering, and the sixth I’ve attended. This time, the conference is being hosted by Le Tourneau University in Longview, Texas, during the weekend of 21–23 March 2013, with variations on the theme, “Fairytales in the Age of iPads: Inklings, Imagination, and Technology”. If I still lived in Dallas, this would have been the closest one yet — only a two-hour drive. But since I’ve moved to Washington, it’s now the furthest one yet.

But I had to attend. Not only is it a wonderful event, a chance to see old friends, and a chance to return to Dallas to see a completely different set of old friends, but — and I’ll try to feign some decorum and an appropriate sense of modest embarrassment at this — I’ve won their first prize for best scholar essay again. That’s right. Best in Show four years in a row, every year, in fact, that the prize has been given. So I simply couldn’t refuse the honor. :)

For anyone who might be in the area, it’s not too late to join us. Dr. Ralph Wood is the guest of honor and will be giving two plenary speeches, one of C.S. Lewis and one on J.R.R. Tolkien. The rest of the schedule (somewhat abbreviated here; follow this link for the whole thing) looks to be just as good. And by the way, my vote for best paper title definitely goes to “The Palantír Stones as Sauron’s Social Media: How to Avoid Getting Poked by the Dark Lord”. Bravo!


Film: The Fellows Hip: Rise of the Gamers


Plenary Session 1
Dr. Ralph Wood, Professor of Theology & Literature, Baylor University
“A Long Obedience in the Right Direction: J.R.R. Tolkien on Adventures and Quests”

Section A: Inklings and Social Technology
“Electric Fairy Tales: The Importance of Mythopoetic Thought in the Age of New Media”, Jeremy Johnson, Goddard College
“The Palantír Stones as Sauron’s Social Media: How to Avoid Getting Poked by the Dark Lord”, Philip Fitzsimmons, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
“Is There Death in the [iPad]? The Influence of iPads on Us as Sub-Creators”, Joshua Boyd, Baylor University

Section B: Inklings and Film
The Fellows Hip: Rise of the Gamers — An Adaptor’s View of Tolkien Adaptation”, Cole Matson, University of St. Andrews
“Divine Intervention, CGI, and the Mythopoeic Aesthetic in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy”, Jim Stockton, Boise State University
“Whiner or Warrior? Susan Pevensie’s Role in Novel and Film Versions of The Chronicles of Narnia”, Dr. Eleanor Hersey Nickel, Fresno Pacific University


Plenary Session 2
Dr. Ralph Wood, Professor of Theology & Literature, Baylor University
“C.S. Lewis and Theosis: The Christian Life as Divinization in The Great Divorce

Section C: Myth and Modern Life
“Tales from Eternity: Fairy Tales as ‘Equipment for Living’”, Dr. William Epperson, Oral Roberts University
“The Gold is God’s, Wherever It Is Found: An Augustinian Reading of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Poem ‘Mythopoeia’”, Jeremy Larson, Baylor University
“Lev Grossman’s The Magicians: Narnia Under Fire?”, Dr. Amanda Himes, John Brown University

Section D: Technology, Creation, and Consumption
“Men, Machine, and Mortality in Dorothy L. Sayers The Nine Taylors”, Denise Galloway Crews, Baylor University
“Tinkering with the God in the Machine: Technology and Consumption in The Lord of the Rings”, Corbin Lockmiller, University of Texas, Arlington
“Techne — to Create or Destroy: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings — the New iPhone 5”, Dr. Harvey Solganick, The College at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Section E: Education, Reading, and Modernity in C.S. Lewis
“Not a Tame Lewis: Towards Putting Lewis into Conversation with Postmodernism”, Michael Muth, Wesleyan College
“The Abolition and Preservation of Man”, Dr. David Rozema, University of Nebraska at Kearney
“C.S. Lewis on Self Transcendence Through Reading”, Aaron Cassidy, Texas Woman’s University

Section F: The Mind, the Soul, and the
“The Mind Plays Tricks: Remembering God with C.S. Lewis and St. Augustine”, David Smith, Baylor University
“Representations of the Tripartite Soul in Lewis’s Space Trilogy”, Dr. Hayden Head, College of the Ozarks
“‘The Shadow Knows’: The Doppelganger as a Literary Motif in the Works of George MacDonald and J.R.R. Tolkien”, Dr. Mark Hall, Oral Roberts University

Section G: Myth and Allegory
“Mythical Fact: C.S. Lewis’s Ideas on Mythology”, Sarah Clower, Hardin-Simmons University
“Orual’s Bildungsroman Through a Myth Retold in C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces”, Ashley Simpson, Hardin-Simmons University
“Pattern of Leaves: Eucatastrophe and Allegory in Tolkien”, Carley Robinson, LeTourneau University


Paper Contest Awards


Section H: Tales about the Tellers
“Lindskoog vs. Hooper (Part I)”, Dr. Joe R. Christopher, Tarleton State University
“C.S. Lewis’s Intense Dislike of T.S. Eliot: Truth or Fiction?”, Dr. Janice Brown, Grove City College

Section I: Tolkien as Philologist and Illustrator
“J.R.R. Tolkien: The Foolhardy Philologist”, Jason Fisher, Independent Scholar
“An Illustrious Illustrator: J.R.R. Tolkien as Artist and Calligrapher”, Kathryne Hall, Oral Roberts University

Section J: C.S. Lewis on Will, Emotion and Reason
“C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man and Sylvan Tompkin’s Script Theory Psychology”, Dr. Larry E. Fink, Hardin-Simmons University
“Self Will and Emotion in Five of C.S. Lewis’s Works”, Rachel Bales, Hardin-Simmons University
“C.S. Lewis and the Art of Courtly Love”, Dr. Salwa Khoddam, Oklahoma City University

Section K: Tempation and Repentance
“Meeting the Best of Knowledge: The Spiritual Fate of Male and Female Academics in Two Novels of Charles Williams”, Dr. Keith Dorwick, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
“The Psychology of Screwtape”, Kayla Hastings, Hardin-Simmons University
“Mr. Vane and Lilith: Two Roads to Repentance?”, Dr. Jonathan Himes, John Brown University

Section L: Inklings and The Environment
“Tom Bombadil and Treebeard: The Adaptation of Medieval Concepts of Nature in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings”, Dawn Martin, LeTourneau University
“The Green Mystic: Tolkien's Otherworldly Love of Trees”, Felipe Vogel, LeTourneau University
“George MacDonald and Ecology”, David L. Neuhouser, Taylor University