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Start Date

2-5-2022 1:30 PM

Description

J.R.R. Tolkien never forgot the felling of a willow tree that had overlooked the mill-pool in Sarehole, nor how his former climbing companion had been left to rot in the grass. His horror at that small environmental violence bleeds through his works, from poems like “From the many-willow’d margin of the immemorial Thames” (1913) to the Party Tree in The Hobbit (1937) to a letter to The Daily Telegraph in 1972 when he decried the modern “torture and murder of trees.” This presentation will draw on the excellent foundations laid by Dinah Hazell, as well as the father-son pair of Walter S. Judd and Graham A. Judd, in their work on the plants of Middle-Earth. First, we will build a shared understanding of Tolkien’s horror at the cutting down of trees. The presentation will then grow to include other authors, activists, and leaders who tied their life’s work into a formative horror at the destruction of a treasured tree. Then, we will return to Tolkien, to the ways in which restoration of nature heals horror and feeds into narrative justice in Middle-Earth. Then, we will tie that back into some of the stories we touched upon earlier. Finally, we will share five designs for Tolkien Gardens, giving attendees the tools they need to create a garden which is, like Lothloríen, “beautiful because there the trees were loved,” and in doing so, restore a bit of nature in our own backyards.

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Host: Jeremy Evert

Tech Mod: Leslie Donovan

Cait Rottler

(she/hers) is a restoration ecologist by training (PhD from the University of Wyoming) and an equestrian by choice. Her interests are numerous, and she’s never met a craft she won’t start once and then drop the second something distracts her. She joined the Hobbit Society at the University of New Mexico to make friends but didn’t actually like Tolkien until she read The Silmarillion and fell in love with it. Druids are her favorite D&D class.

Jessica Dickinson Goodman is a fantasy and science fiction writer, with pieces published in The Oakland Review, Galactic Journey, and RFD. On her weekends and evenings, Jessica runs a two-acre campus in South San José, working with dozens of volunteers to restore it to a California native plant garden. She hopes to include a Tolkien Garden, using local varieties of the plants he named in his writings, on the campus.

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Feb 5th, 1:30 PM

Environmental Horror and Restoration: Tolkien and Today

J.R.R. Tolkien never forgot the felling of a willow tree that had overlooked the mill-pool in Sarehole, nor how his former climbing companion had been left to rot in the grass. His horror at that small environmental violence bleeds through his works, from poems like “From the many-willow’d margin of the immemorial Thames” (1913) to the Party Tree in The Hobbit (1937) to a letter to The Daily Telegraph in 1972 when he decried the modern “torture and murder of trees.” This presentation will draw on the excellent foundations laid by Dinah Hazell, as well as the father-son pair of Walter S. Judd and Graham A. Judd, in their work on the plants of Middle-Earth. First, we will build a shared understanding of Tolkien’s horror at the cutting down of trees. The presentation will then grow to include other authors, activists, and leaders who tied their life’s work into a formative horror at the destruction of a treasured tree. Then, we will return to Tolkien, to the ways in which restoration of nature heals horror and feeds into narrative justice in Middle-Earth. Then, we will tie that back into some of the stories we touched upon earlier. Finally, we will share five designs for Tolkien Gardens, giving attendees the tools they need to create a garden which is, like Lothloríen, “beautiful because there the trees were loved,” and in doing so, restore a bit of nature in our own backyards.

Mythcon 52: The Mythic, the Fantastic, and the Alien

Albuquerque, New Mexico; July 29 - August 1, 2022
https://www.mythsoc.org/mythcon/mythcon-52.htm

Mythcon Conference
 

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