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Mythopoeic Society

a non-profit organization devoted to the study of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, the Inklings, and the genres of myth and fantasy

Mythcon 44 - July 2013

Call For Papers

Call for Papers: Mythopoeic Society Conference 44
Kellogg Conference Center, Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI – July 12-15, 2013

Green and Growing:
The Land and its Inhabitants in Fantasy Literature

Author Guest of Honor: Franny Billingsley
Franny Billingsley is the author of children’s and young adult fantasy novels The Folk Keeper (winner of the 2000 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature), Well Wished, and Chime.

Scholar Guest of Honor: Douglas A. Anderson
Douglas A. Anderson, is an independent scholar and author and editor on the subjects of fantasy and medieval literature, specializing in textual analysis of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. He won the 1990 Award for Inklings Studies for The Annotated Hobbit, and his work with Wayne G. Hammond, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography won the Award for Inklings Studies in 1994.

How does mythopoeic literature address the relationship between the land and its inhabitants, between the wild and the cultivated? What are their respective moral values, their dangers and delights? Tangled forests, majestic trees, ordered fields, carefully tended gardens; or untamed, wild beauty: each offers a different kind of bounty to those who would live off the land. What role do advocates and protectors of the land play in fantasy literature, particularly as personified in characters such as Yavanna, Radagast, Sam Gamgee and, of course, Tom Bombadil.

Our theme also voices many a cautionary tale– Tolkien’s Dead Marshes, the scouring of the Shire, the desolations of Smaug, Saruman and Sauron, the unnatural winter in Narnia– inviting eco-critical approaches to mythopoeic literature. From the whimsical wild places of Baum, Seuss  and Sendak; to the mysterious and often tutelary landscapes of Orwell, Garner and Burroughs– not to mention those of our favorite Inklings– we invite papers on any aspect of the green and growing land in mythopoeic writing.

Papers and panels dealing with the conference themes (or other themes sparked in your brain by this topic) are encouraged. As always, we especially welcome proposals for papers and panels focusing on the work and interests of the Inklings (especially J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams), of our Guests of Honor, and of other fantasy authors and themes. Papers and panels from a variety of critical perspectives and disciplines are welcome.

Individual papers will be scheduled for one hour to allow time for questions, but should be timed for oral presentation in 40 minutes maximum. Two presenters who wish to present shorter, related papers may also share a one-hour slot, in which case please indicate this on your proposal. Panels will be scheduled for 1.5-hour time slots and normally will include 3-5 presenters who will speak briefly on the subject (usually 10 minutes or less), leaving substantial time for discussion with the audience.

Paper and panel proposals (250 word maximum), along with contact information, should be sent to the appropriate Papers or Panels Coordinator at the following email addresses by 15 May 2013. AV and technology requests must be included in your proposal.

Papers Coordinator
Dr. Leslie A. Donovan
Associate Professor, University of New Mexico

Panels Coordinator
Dr. Judith J. Kollman
Professor Emerita, University of Michigan- Flint

Participants are encouraged to submit papers chosen for presentation at the conference to Mythlore, the refereed journal of the Mythopoeic Society ( All papers should conform to the MLA Style Manual. Graduate and undergraduate students are especially encouraged to submit proposals and to apply for the Alexei Kondratiev Award for Best Student Paper (see For deadlines and applications for this award, contact the Papers Coordinator. Scholars needing financial assistance to attend Mythcon may apply for the Mythopoeic Society’s Glen GoodKnight Memorial Scholarships (formerly called the Starving Scholars Fund). Scholars may request the application form for these awards from the Papers Coordinator.

The Mythopoeic Society is an international literary and educational organization devoted to the study, discussion, and enjoyment of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and mythopoeic literature. We believe the study of these writers can lead to greater understanding and appreciation of the literary, philosophical, and spiritual traditions which underlie their works, and can engender an interest in the study of myth, legend, and the genre of fantasy. Find out about past conferences at