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31st August 2023

Cohen Quad to host Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series

This Michaelmas Term, Oxford will commemorate the 50th anniversary of J. R. R. Tolkien’s death with a seminar series by leading Tolkienists at Exeter College’s Cohen Quad site. Tolkien, often considered the “father of modern fantasy,” studied English and Classics at Exeter from 1911 to 1915.

The seminar series will feature a range of eclectic perspectives on Tolkien’s life and work. It begins on 11 October with “How to write The Lord of the Rings” hosted by Stuart Lee, who is developing a research cluster within the Faculty of English on Tolkien and fantasy literature. Michael Ward, who sits within the Faculty of Theology and Religion, and classicist Giuseppe Pezzini will discuss Tolkien’s work with regard to their respective fields on 18 October and 1 November.

Into November, there will be a number of seminars dealing with Tolkien’s historical influences and parallels. Grace Khuri will present on the mythology of elves in Tolkien’s work and Laura Vern will host a seminar entitled “Tolkien and Beowulf”. Rounding off the series is Simon Horobin on J. R. R. Tolkien’s philology. It was during Tolkien’s time at Exeter that he began formally studying philology, inspiring his lifelong penchant for developing the languages that became a cornerstone of his beloved stories.

The seminars are free events though registration is required. Please note that all events will be held at Cohen Quad except for Giuseppe Pezzini’s talk on 1 November, which will take place at the Faculty of English.

See the poster below or click here for more details about the seminars.

Poster for Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar Series

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