ICMS 2022: A Tolkien Addendum

Wes þu hal,

I am beyond happy to say that both the “Studies in the Heliand” paper panel and the “Teaching the Old Saxon Heliand” roundtable were fantastic. Both papers truly added something to the discussion of the text, and I can honestly the conversation about teaching was one of the most enjoyable academic discussion that I have had in some time. I’m already looking forward to next year’s panels!

While I was not a presenter at this year’s “Studies in the Heliand” session, I am taking part in today’s “New Readings of the Lord of the Rings” panel at 5:00 conference time. My presentation, “Tolkien, Augustinian Theodicy, and ‘Lovecraftian’ Evil” will discuss how Ungoliant (an important figure in Tolkien’s setting) seems to push against Tolkien’s typical Augustinian view of evil and instead reflects some of the ideas about evil championed by American horror author H.P. Lovecraft. I had a chance to pilot the first half of this study last month at the national Popular Culture Association conference, and I am looking forward to talking about the idea with the Tolkien and Augustine experts at Kalamazoo.

On the topic of Tolkien, I am also happy to announce that my essay “Tolkien, the Medieval Robin Hood, and the ‘Matter of the Greenwood'” has been accepted for publication in this year’s volume of Tolkien Studies. I will give more information about this once the final publication details are ironed out.