From The Blog

CFP: ‘LOTR 60th Anniversary’

2014 is the 60th anniversary of the Lord of the Rings. The Mithril Turtle is the University of Maryland College Park’s commemoration of this important literary and cultural milestone. A variety of events are planned for September 1 – October 17, 2014.

Among these is an interdisciplinary discussion series. Tolkien’s created world is realistically and compellingly realized, making it ideal for creative exploration of a wide range of disciplines. We invite proposals that use the lens of Lord of the Rings and Middle-earth to focus attention upon cutting-edge research and scholarship.

Topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • Mithril and Materials Science: How close are we? [Materials Science]
  • Does formal education exist in Middle-earth? [Higher Education]
  • Tolkien as poet [Literature]
  • Jackson’s films or other adaptations [Film Studies]
  • Middle-earth, Tolkien, and the internet [Media and Pop Culture Studies]
  • Tolkien’s contemporary art world and its influence on his art [Art]
  • Tolkien-inspired artists and artwork [Contemporary Art]
  • Tolkien’s cartography and medieval maps [Geography]
  • Would Aragorn need an EPA? Land use in Middle-earth [Ecology, Public Policy]
  • The economy of Middle-earth [Business and Economics]
  • Tolkien’s medieval sources [History]
  • Tolkien’s invented languages [Linguistics]
  • Hobbit holes and earth homes: energy efficiency in Middle-earth [Architecture]
  • Shelob, balrogs, and giant eagles: physiology in Middle-earth [Biology]

Short proposals (~one page) are welcome. For best consideration, send materials to Michelle Markey Butler ( by July 20, 2014.

For more information about the LOTR Research Discussion Series, possible topics, or the Mithril Turtle event schedule, see Or contact Michelle Markey Butler (