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Tolkien: The Forest and the City
The School of English
Trinity College Dublin, September 21st-22nd, 2012.


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Convener: Dr. H. Conrad-O’Briain, Trinity College Dublin

Keynote Address: Professor Tom Shippey (St Louis University, emeritus): ‘The Goths and the Romans in Tolkien's Imagination’’

Invited Lecturers:

Professor Michael D. C. Drout (Wheaton College):  ‘The Tower and the Ruin: The Past in Tolkien’
Professor Verlyn Flieger (University of Maryland): ‘Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Sentient Landscape in Tolkien's Fiction.’
Professor Thomas Honegger (University of Jena): ‘”Raw Forest” and the “Cooked City” Lévi-Strauss in Middle-earth’
Professor Alison Milbank (University of Nottingham): 'In a Dark Wood: Tolkien and Dante’’


Ms. Meg Black: ‘The Party Tree and its Roots in the Spanish Civil War’
Dr. Jane Carroll (Trinity College Dublin): ‘On the Edge of Ruin: Unexpected Pleasures in Unexpected Places in The Lord of the Rings’’
Dr. Dimitra Fimi (Cardiff Metropolitan University):  ‘Wildman of the Woods: Inscribing Tragedy on the Landscape of Middle –earth in The Children of Hurin’
Ms. Jennifer Harwood-Smith (Trinity College Dublin):  ‘Fractured Cities: the Twinning of Tolkien's Minas Tirith and Minas Morgul with Fritz Lang's Metropolis."
Gerard Hynes, (Trinity College Dublin): ‘The Cedar has Fallen: Empire, Deforestation, and the Fall of Numenor’
Ian Kinane (Trinity College Dublin): ‘Less Noise, More Green: Cultural Materialism and the Reverse Discourse of the Forest in Tolkien’s The Hobbit
Karl Kinsella (Keble College Oxford): ‘A Preference for Round Windows: Architectural Description in Lord of the Rings
Ms. Rebecca Merkelbach (Clare College Cambridge): ‘Deeper and Deeper into the Wood: Forests as Places of Transformation in The Lord of the Rings’
Ms. Dominika Nycz: ‘The Forest and the City: The Dichotomy of Tolkien’s Istari’
Dr. Erin Sebo (Trinity College Dublin): ‘Liminal Cities? The Location of Riddle Contests in The Hobbit'

Round table: Dr. Henry Gee

Registration and Fee:

Conference Registration fee of 50 euro will cover conference pack, reception, tea and coffee, and a discount on the conference proceedings volume to be published by Four Courts Press. For conference program and registration forms, please contact:

Dr. H. Conrad-O'Briain<>

or by post:
The Forest and the City
c/o Dr. H. Conrad-O'Briain
School of English, Arts Building
Trinity College, Dublin 2

Alternatively, you can find the registration form here. Places are limited and will be allocated strictly on the basis of receipt of conference registration form and fee.

Image copyright: Sheena Power - Baglady design:

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Last updated 24 February 2012 School of English (Email).