Appel : Réception de Tolkien

Appel pour la 15e conférence de la Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft

Du 5 au 7 octobre à Aix la Chapelle



2017 saw the 80th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit. It was this book that introduced Tolkien the author to a wider public and brought him popular critical acclaim. As a consequence, he received several prizes, such as the 1938 New York Herald Tribune award for the best children’s book. It is thus arguably the publication of The Hobbit and the first critical reactions to it some eight decades ago that constitute the starting point for the scholarly and critical reception of Tolkien and his literary work. The 15th Tolkien Seminar would like to use this anniversary as an opportunity to discuss the influence of Tolkien’s work, the different readings and interpretations it received, and to try a provisional assessment of the critical status of his published works. The seminar inscribes itself into the tradition of the aesthetics of reception. It focuses on the different points of view (and their socio-cultural backgrounds) from which Tolkien’s work has been approached, and analyses the function of the individual reader in the process of constructing the private and public ‘meanings’ of a work. The subject of the seminar is thus the stratification of Tolkien’s audience according to nationality, class, gender, profession etc. and the effect this had on the reception of Tolkien’s work. Possible topics for papers would be thus the reception of Tolkien’s work by  literary critics ; literary scholars ; philologists/linguists ; historians ; natural scientists ; different nationalities ;  different social classes ;  different gender groups ; etc.

A discussion of any of these approaches would profit from taking into account the historical perspective that looks at the development of how the view on Tolkien’s work has changed (within the group) over time. The 15th Seminar of the German Tolkien Society is supported by Walking Tree Publishers and takes place at the Department of English at the RWTH Aachen from 5 to 7 October 2018. Potential participants are kindly invited to send a brief abstract (no longer than one page) together with a short biographical sketch (five to ten lines) no later than 30 May 2018 to Thomas Fornet-Ponse:


Suite de l’appel et annonce d’un soutien financier destiné aux doctorants et étudiants :