Calls for Papers

Kris Swank

A forthcoming collection of essays on C. S. Lewis. The book will be published as part of Salem Press’s ever-growing Critical Insights series:

Salem is owned by EBSCO, one of the world’s largest “information companies,” which operates numerous databases. The book will be issued both in print and electronically; in fact, any library that purchases the hardbound book automatically receives free access to the digital version.

Essays should be roughly 5000 words long and should also be clearly written and accessible to non-specialists. Deadline for essays is late September, 2022.

Each contributor will be paid $200 and will receive a free copy of the book.

Contact Bob Evans, editor <[email protected]> for more information
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Kris Swank

for a new volume edited by Jane Beal, PhD on
J.R.R. Tolkien and Medieval Poets

Abstracts, select bibliographies, and short academic biographies should be sent to
Dr. Jane Beal, Professor of English Literature (University of La Verne) at
[email protected] by Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022

First drafts should be submitted to the editor by Saturday, January 7, 2023.
Contributors will be asked to meet in a Zoom conference on Saturday, January 14, 2023.
in order to participate in reading chapters drafts and giving feedback on them as a mutual form of internal peer review before
external peer review is requested.

This volume is invited by Vernon Press. Contributors should familiarize
themselves with the Vernon publishing house style-guide:

We will use Chicago Manual of Style, Vol. 17. Please edit carefully.



Kris Swank

Tolkien at Kalamazoo is sponsoring three sessions for the 58th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA (May 11–May 13, 2023). Proposals of papers and contributions to roundtables are due Sept. 15, 2022.

Medieval Elements in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Roundtable): In-Person Session

The upcoming Amazon Prime series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, due to premiere in September 2022, explores the Second Age of Middle-earth. The announcement of the series, followed by the release of images and a trailer, has suggested that the world constructed by the show contains a number of elements that appear to draw on the Middle Ages. This roundtable invites contributions that consider the medieval elements in the series, both elements of design and narrative, and including structures of society, government, and relations among societies.

Christopher Tolkien: Medievalist Editor of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Legendarium (Paper Session): In-Person Session
The publication of The Great Tales Never End: Essays in Memory of Christopher Tolkien in September 2022 affords us an opportunity to investigate the work of Christopher Tolkien as editor. Edited by the Bodleian’s librarian Richard Ovenden and Tolkien Archivist Catherine McIlwaine and published by the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, this volume is well concerned with the work of reading and editing manuscripts. A medievalist by training, working in Old Norse texts, Christopher is best known as the editor of his father’s legendarium. This paper session invites contributions that consider the role of his background in medieval texts as editor of J. R. R. Tolkien’s manuscripts and that engage with the memorial volume The Great Tales Never End.

“Climate Change” II: Social, Ecological, Political, and Spiritual Shifts in J.R.R. Tolkien and Medieval Poets: Blended Session (co-sponsored with the Pearl-Poet Society; organized by Jane Beal)
J. R. R. Tolkien was a reader, translator, and teacher of medieval poetry in Old and Middle English as well as Old Norse, showing particular devotion to Beowulf and the works of the Pearl-Poet. Tolkien’s interpretations of medieval poetry deserve further investigation in terms of the theme of “climate change,” which can be explored in social, ecological, political, and spiritual terms by interested scholars submitting papers for our session. This session is the second in a two-part series, “Climate Change” I sponsored exclusively by the Pearl-Poet Society and this session sponsored jointly by the PPS and Tolkien at Kalamazoo.

Additional Tolkien Sessions:

Tolkien and the Middle Ages: Tolkien and Medieval Constructions of Race (sponsored by the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic, Univ. of Glasgow; organized by Mariana Rios Maldonado)

Tolkien and the Middle Ages: Tolkien and the Scholastics (sponsored by the D. B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership, Viterbo Univ.; organized by Michael Wodzak)

All proposals must be made through the Congress’s Confex system. Please follow the instructions on the Congress’s Call for Papers carefully ( Proposals of papers and contributions to roundtables are due Sept. 15, 2022.
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Kris Swank

The Tales After Tolkien Society is sponsoring a paper session for the 58th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA (May 11–May 13, 2023).
Proposals of papers are due Sept. 15, 2022.

Religion along the Tolkienian Fantasy Tradition: New Medievalist Narratives.
he session will broadly examine depictions of formal religion, real-world or in-milieu, in recent (post-2000) works in the Tolkienian fantasy tradition--here, conceived loosely as fantasy works, irrespective of medium, that make use of a more or less "authentic" European Middle Ages (itself a somewhat nebulous term, as has been noted) as a primary reference for their milieux and their trappings. While it is a commonplace that religious observance was a prominent concern in medieval life, Tolkien notably largely avoids substantial overt depiction of religious forms in his works, and those authors who follow after him largely do, as well. Even those authors who are explicit about the inclusion of religion--Martin and Hobb come to mind as attention-grabbing examples, and others can be found--are far less overt about religious practices. The disjunction is curious and invites exploration...such as the session hopes to do.

Submissions for the session will be accepted via the Congress's platform, which appears on the "Submissions" page. Early-career researchers, persons working off of the tenure track or outside academe entirely, and persons from traditionally marginalized populations are especially encouraged to submit abstracts; the Society welcomes diverse voices working from formal and embedded approaches.

Interested? Email the Society with questions at [email protected]
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Kris Swank


The International Congress of Fantastic Genre, Audiovisuals and New Technologies is an activity of scientific and academic dissemination that is part of Elche International Fantastic Film Festival – FANTAELX, with the collaboration of the Miguel Hernández University.

Its mission is to disseminate research studies within the different thematic lines and discourses of the Fantastic Genre, covering all its possible variants and platforms: cinema, television, theatre, literature, comics, videogames, virtual reality, plastic arts, etc.


The deadline for submission of abstracts for both options is 7 October 2022 (inclusive).

Oral communications and their abstracts may be submitted in English, French, Spanish or Valencian; and their reading during the Congress can’t exceed 15 minutes.

The presentation of the Communication at the Congress will not be compulsory. In the case of not attending the event as a speaker, both in person and online, the paper will also appear in the corresponding edition of the book.

For more information on the congress & submissions procedures, see

Kris Swank

CFP: Leeds 2023 IMC Tolkien Sessions

Paper abstracts are currently being sought for the following Tolkien sessions for the International Medieval Congress at Leeds, 3-6 July 2023. The special thematic strand of this conference will be Networks and Entanglements. See more here

We are very pleased that the 2023 IMC Tolkien Sessions will again be sponsored by the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow -

Please submit a paper contribution title and abstract by 31 August 2022 to Dr. Andrew Higgins ([email protected])

Length of abstracts: 150 words (max!)
Papers will be 15-20 minutes long
With your abstract, please include name and details of contributor (affiliation, address, and preferred e-mail address)

Paper submissions are being sought for the following sessions:

Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches
This session can accommodate wider topics and new approaches to Tolkien's medievalism, ranging from source studies and theoretical readings to comparative studies of Tolkien’s works.

Tolkien’s Medieval Entanglements
Throughout his life and academic work Tolkien explored and grappled with some of the most perplexing and interesting cruxes and entanglements of medieval literature and language. This session will explore examples of Tolkien’s engagement with these ‘medieval entanglements’ and how he sought potential solutions for them through both his own academic research and fictional worldbuilding.

Tolkien’s Work and Academic Networks at Leeds
J.R.R. Tolkien established his academic career at the University of Leeds, joining as a Reader in 1920, aged 28, before being promoted to Professor within a few years. By the time he left in 1925 he had established the School as a UK leader in Old Icelandic language and literature. Papers in this session can explore elements of Tolkien’s academic as well as fictional work while he was at the University of Leeds. Papers can also explore the work of colleagues that formed part of Tolkien’s academic network(s) while he was at Leeds.

New Work and Methods in Tolkien Research - Making the Links
Papers in this session can explore new methods of academic research that can be applied to both Tolkien and Middle-earth studies and what these methodologies are revealing for the continuing academic dialogue around Tolkien and both his academic and fictional works.

Disentangling the Second Age of Middle-earth
In Tolkien’s great masterwork The Lord of the Rings, the Second Age of Middle-earth is a time remembered in poetry and song and the memories of such witnesses to its history as Elrond and Galadriel. In this session we are seeking papers that deal specifically with elements of the history, peoples and events of the Second Age of Middle-earth which saw the rise of the great evil that would cast its shadow over Middle-earth in the Third Age. Papers in this session can be in dialogue with the upcoming Amazon Prime The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series as well as the new book The Fall of Númenor And Other Tales from the Second Age of Middle-earth which will be published by HarperCollins in November 2022.

The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power and Questions of Adaptation and Authenticity - A Round Table
Our continuing Tolkien at Leeds Round Table series will explore one of the most significant new adaptations of Tolkien’s works, Amazon Prime’s The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power series. Participants will offer short presentations on some element of this series and how it is (or is not) in dialogue with Tolkien’s texts and what this new adaptation develops or reveals in the expanding body of adaptations of Tolkien’s world-building.


Kris Swank

Call for papers:
58th International Congress on Medieval Studies
The Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI: May 11-13, 2023

Two Special Sessions organized by:
Jana Schulman (Western Michigan University) and Andrew Scheil (University of Minnesota)

Close Readings of Old English Literature
Contact: Andrew Scheil ([email protected])
Modality: In person
The patient analysis of Old English texts (prose or poetry)—word by word, phrase by phrase— is in itself rewarding, but is also foundational for other important endeavors in the field: e.g., comparative philology, lexicography, oral-formulaic analysis, editing, source study. This session will provide a forum for applied close readings of Old English literary texts. We particularly encourage papers that move from the careful analysis of individual words and phrases to a broader interpretation of a single text. This session will focus more on the engagement with specific verbal textures, rather than on historical contexts, comparative work, reception, or methodological reflections.

Old English Literature: Analogues and Comparative Approaches
Jana K. Schulman ([email protected])
Modality: In person
This session seeks paper proposals that explore Old English literature in the comparative context of analogues. The session is open to approaches ranging from traditional Germanic analogues to broader global comparisons. The comparison of Beowulf to Old Icelandic sagas has demonstrated that examining analogues is a profitable endeavor, opening up the possibilities of shared motifs, underlying folktale characteristics, and narrative variation. What might the application of other global analogues tell us? What do analogue studies and/or a comparative approach add to our understanding of an Old English text? The opposite also holds true—what does a reading or interpretation of an Old English text do for our understanding of a text from the global Middle Ages? We look forward to finding out.

Please submit paper proposals for 15-20-minute papers (title and 250-word abstract) through the conference’s online submission portal ( Please feel free to contact the organizers by email with any questions.

Deadline: September 15, 2022

Kris Swank

Call for Papers Volume: Dissenting Beliefs: Heresy and Heterodoxy in Fantasy

Religious fantasy, for a great many readers, is synonymous with Christian fantasy; more specifically, it is understood as literature overtly reproducing biblical narratives within a fantasy world, such as C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Concurrently, fantasy texts engaging with theology through non-allegorical means that challenge mainstream Christian doctrine are all too often dismissed as disingenuous, offensive or deliberately antagonistic. While this is sometimes the case, such a narrow view of religious fantasy excludes all but the least innovative texts from the genre and leaves little room for authors of other faiths. Furthermore, the dominance of texts affirming orthodoxy in religious fantasy discourse threatens to blind us to another side of belief: that radical, sometimes even heretical, literary reconfigurations of religion can also be acts of devotion.

If religious fantasy is instead allowed to encompass heterodoxy and heresy, theological subversions and expressions of misotheism, then the affordances of religious fantasy expand far beyond the didacticism popularly attributed to it. Understood in these terms, religious fantasy can be used: to affirm one’s identity and spiritual worth in opposition to official doctrines which may deny it, as a tool of protest against unjust systems of power, to explore complex spiritual responses to historical instances of religious complicity in atrocities, or to express lived spiritual experiences which do not conform to orthodox teachings.

Following on from the ‘Dissenting Beliefs’ conference sponsored by the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow in December 2021, this edited volume aims to encompass the depth and breadth of new scholarship on the affordances of heresy and heterodoxy in fantasy across a wide range of faiths. We welcome proposals for eventual peer-reviewed chapters of 5,000-7,000 words, and we especially welcome submissions from postgraduate students and early-career researchers. Chapters might address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
  • Queer, feminist and womanist theology in fantasy
  • Non-Western, post-colonial or anti-colonial heresies and fantasy
  • Misotheism, ‘New’ Atheism and Death of God theology in fantasy
  • Fantasy and interreligious dialogue
  • The affordances of fantasy in theologies of protest
  • New Media’s interactions with fantasy and theology, and how this might differ from traditional media
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a short bio (maximum 150 words) to [email protected] with the subject line ‘Abstract Submission’ by 3 October 2022. We are particularly keen to highlight the contributions of authors who are underrepresented in scholarship on religion and theology in fantasy; therefore we will not be accepting submissions on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling or Philip Pullman.