Tolkien: The Forest & the City. Tolkien Conference at Trinity College, Dublin, Sept 21-22, 2012

Happening right now is a very special conference at Trinity College in Dublin. Hosted by the School of English an outstanding array of experts has gathered to deal with a topic many would call a very “Tolkienian” topic; fortunately enough the list of talks shows that the speakers are adressing the complexity of its treatment by Tolkien will go far beyond the unfortunately restricted understanding of it generally.

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

All information available can be found at the School of English‘s website.

Update, July 19th, 2020: For the conference publication J.R.R. Tolkien: the Forest and the City see Tolkien Gateway.

Marcel R. Bülles

Marcel R. Bülles is the author of, a specialist blog centering on worldwide Tolkien fandom, geekdom and research. He works as a freelance translator, journalist and writer and is the founder of the German Tolkien Society as well as a co-founder to RingCon, Europe's formerly biggest fantasy film convention. You can find him in cafés all over the world sipping an espresso blogging, writing, reading. At one point he was married to an extremely lovely French lady by the nickname of Sauron. Yes, that Sauron. He is also active with the International Tolkien Fellowship on Facebook and the Tolkien Folk on Instagram.