Mankato Tolkien Conference, 1996

Mankato Tolkien Conference, 1996

Art by Randall Wesley

NOTICE 3/24/00
[I have just received this addendum:]
note that I am planning a conference on the works of Tolkien scheduled for Thursday, April 26, 2001 at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. A 2001 Tolkien Conference web site is soon to come. The tentative title is,
“Concerning Hobbits and Other Matters: Tolkien Across the Disciplines.”
–Tim Schindler

Here’s a bit of info on the second Mankato Tolkien Conference (in Minnesota), which occurred last May (1996). I was so inspired that I foolishly decided that we should host Bree Moot 3 in the Twin Cities, and enlisted Steve Deyo and Ruth Berman to be involved.

Program began at 9 a.m. in the Mankato State University Student Union South Ballroom

Keynote address by Steven Mark Deyo:

“Which Came First–The Mythopoeic Chicken or the Glossopoeic Egg? The Role of Invented Languages in the Works of J.R. R. Tolkien.”

There were program themes of “Tolkien and Myth,” “Tolkien: Fantasy, Fairy Tale and Medievalism,” “Tolkien in the Classroom,” and a summary presentation.

Some individual presentations included: “Two Strategies for Myth: J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis,” “Tolkien’s Influence: From Middle Earth to Cyberspace,” :The Rash Promise and Breach of Marital Troth in Chaucer’s ‘Franklin’s Tale’ and Tolkien’s ‘The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun:’ An Alternative Ending,” and “Tolkien’s Romantic View of Astronomy.”

Presenters included: Louisa Smith, Ruth Berman, Scott Hall, Maurice London, Alan C. Jalowitz, Joseph Abrahamson, Gary Hunnewell and others. Here’s a report on the conference, by Ruth Berman, from Pooka 34.

Steve Deyo, keynote speaker at the Second Mankato State University Tolkien Conference
Tolkien Conference Report

May 2, David Lenander and I drove out the Minnesota River to Mankato, where a group in the MSU English Dept. put on a one-day Tolkien Conference, commemorating the Tolkien Conference held there 30 years ago. (I think I was the only one to attend both.) Steve Deyo gave opening and closing speeches on mythopoeic linguistics, and Gary Hunnewell (who may be repeating it at Mythcon?) gave a talk on Tolkien’s use of astronomy, with gorgeous slides of some of Tolkien’s art plus some assorted relevant documents. Other enjoyable papers I heard were by Louisa Smith on homely hearths in TLotR and by Joseph Abrahamson on Tolkien’s use of a scholarly editor compiling the ms. as a fictional device. I repeated the paper I gave at Rivendell’s Mythcon on Andrew Lang and Tolkien. All in all, a pleasant outing. –Ruth Berman

Gary Hunnewell, at the Second Mankato Tolkien Conference

Web site, with the full conference program, was–but its seems to be permanently gone, now. I’ve tried to reconstruct what I could, above.

The conference was Thursday, May 2, 1996, about 8:30 to 3
Cost was $6 for students and $12 for adults.
Keynote speaker was Steve Deyo
Organizers included Tim Schindler (, William D. Dyer ( and Ramona Czer