Purported Event Will Counter-Program the Seminar on Diversity in Tolkien

A little over a week ago the topics of papers scheduled to be presented at Tolkien Society Summer Seminar 2021 on July 3-4  drew criticism from conservative news sites and bloggers for focusing on “the many possible applications of ‘diversity’ within Tolkien’s works, his adaptations, and his readership.” Now a website for The Society of Tolkien – a sound-alike name, whose domain was just registered on June 17 – claims they will run an opposing online seminar on July 3.

Bounding Into Comics’ John F. Trent, a conservative news writer, devoted an article to the purported event: “The Society Of Tolkien Launches Counter-Programming In Response To The Tolkien Society’s “Tolkien And Diversity” Seminar” [Internet Archive link].

There are as yet no papers on the Society of Tolkien’s schedule [Internet Archive link.] They say this is what they are looking for:

When J.R.R. Tolkien created Middle Earth, he filled it with characters, themes, and dangers that leapt from the pages to intrigue, excite, and give hope to his readers. In these sessions, we’ll explore these concepts to celebrate all that makes his works stand the test of time and what we should take from them today.

Topics are 15 minutes each and may include but are not limited to:

  • Analysis of characters, situations, and linguistics in the books
  • Military doctrine and tactics portrayed in the books or movies
  • Themes, lessons, and allegories drawn from or used by Tolkien
  • Works influenced by Tolkien’s writing
  • Works which influenced Tolkien’s writing
  • Middle Earth history

And they say topics should not include:

  • Concepts not included in Tolkien’s writing
  • The Black Speech of Mordor
  • General foolishness

The new website for the Society of Tolkien consists of only four pages — the home page, the program schedule (all “TBD” except for opening and closing remarks by “Danger Casey”), a “What is this?” page, and an accounting page [both Internet Archive links] listing $94 of website expenses they’d like to recover from donations.

[Thanks to Robin Reid for the story. Illo by Teddy Harvia.]