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Tolkien seminar 2020 (Cancelled!)

17 april 2020 - 18 april 2020

Due to travel restrictions and prevention, it is difficult for speakers and interested people from certain countries to come to the Netherlands because of the Corona virus. As a precaution and advice not to hold any events, we are moving this Seminar to a later date.

Second Unquendor Tolkien Seminar
Good and Evil in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien

On 17 and 18 April 2020, Unquendor organises its 2nd Unquendor Seminar in the centre of Utrecht, the Netherlands. The theme of the seminar is ‘Good and Evil in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien’.

On 9 June, 1941, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to his son Michael: “You have to understand the good in things, to detect the real evil”. This pronouncement is as complex and enigmatic as the relationship between good and evil in Tolkien’s fiction, where situations and people may not be what they seem at first glance. Tolkien’s religion, experiences in World War I, and scholarly interest in Nordic heroism are just a few of the manifold factors that combined to shape Tolkien’s perceptions of good and evil. It is the aim of this seminar to bring together scholars from various backgrounds and to explore the narrative as well as the theoretical aspects of this dichotomy in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

The seminar takes two days. You are free to attend on one of these days or both. The seminar will be held on two locations in Utrecht.

Programme Seminar

Keynote speaker: Claudio Testi, Italy

Friday 17 April, Utrecht University building, Drift 21
10:30 Arrival, coffee
11:00 Welcome by Frank Brandsma, University of Utrecht
11:05 Renée Vink 1 – Tolkien’s Devils and the Biblical Satan: Destruction and Dominance
11:35 David Llewellyn Dodds – “Lowly they bow’d adoring”: The Curious Inevidence of Faithful Cultus in Middle-earth and Narnia
12:20 Lunch break
13:30 Thijs Porck – Whales, Oliphaunts and Spiders: Tolkien’s Evil Animals and the Medieval Bestiary Tradition
14:15 Cindy van Nierop – The Excavated Tolkien: Archaeology in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
14:45 Tea/coffee break
15:00 Paul Corfield Godfrey – In Slothful Gardens?
16:00 Jan van Breda – The Curse of Morgoth: Bad Luck or Evil Force?
From 17:00 drinks, restaurant visit, location TBA

Saturday 18 April, Cultural Podium De Kargadoor, Oudegracht 36
From 10:15 Arrival, coffee, brief welcome
10:45 Will Sherwood – ‘In Faëry Lands Forlorn, the Perilous Sea’s Foam is Silver Music’: Keatsian Echoes in The Book of Lost Tales and The Lord of the Rings’
11:30 Berber Bossenbroek – The Good, the Bad and the Mythologically Correct
12:00 Lunch break
13:15 Stas Vugts – My Own, My Precious, My choice? To what extent was the choice of the 5 hobbit ring-bearers to pick up the one ring an autonomous choice?
13:45 Keynote paper: Claudio Testi – Powers, Evil and the Machine
14:30 Tea/Coffee break
14:45 Renée Vink 2 – Creating a Free Agent: Wagner and Tolkien revisited
15:30 Forum on ‘Moral standards and values in Middle-earth’, with Claudio Testi, Liuwe Westra & Jonne Steen Redeker, moderator and possible 4th participant TBA
16:30 Closing words by Jan van Breda
From 17:00: drinks & restaurant visit, location TBA

There are no costs to attend the seminar. All food and drinks, however, are on your own expense. In the evening of the first and of the second day of the seminar, participants that have so indicated on their registration, join to have dinner together.



17 april 2020
18 april 2020
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