As a reminder, the panels are these:
We hope to see you at the 'zoo!
Legacies of Tolkien's Whiteness in Contemporary MedievalismsA roundtable session at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University (www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress) examining the continuing effects of Tolkien's depictions of race in medievalist works.
Much criticism directs itself towards racial studies and postcolonial readings of the works of JRR Tolkien, arguing whether his works should be regarded as racist and what attitudes contemporary readers would be well served to adopt in response to them. Much attention in popular media has directed itself towards the use of medieval and medievalist works such as Tolkien's by white supremacist groups to offer themselves pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-historical support for their execrable agendas. The session looks for ways in which contemporary medievalist work (hopefully) unintentionally supports such efforts and what can be done to oppose them as things deserving all opposition.
Deadscapes: Wastelands, Necropoli, and Other Tolkien-Inspired Places of Death, Decay, and CorruptionA paper session at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University (www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress) examining depictions of what comes in the wake of war and death in works in the Tolkienian tradition.
Many of the "standard" fantasy works, ranging from the epics through Arthuriana into Tolkien and beyond, make much of grand wars fought on massive scales. They also, at times, look at what is left behind when the war is done, the graveyards filled and memorials erected. The session looks at how such things are constructed in works in the Tolkienian fantasy tradition and what functions they serve for readers in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.