Still slightly stunned and star-struck after attending the 2015 PCA/ACA conference Thursday-Saturday. . . it may sound cliche, but I really learned a great deal from the experience.
Area chair Pam Detrixhe organized some amazing panels on religion and popular culture, and on my particular panel of Religion and Literature, fellow presenter Michael Jahosky offered a fascinating re-consideration of don't-call-it-allegory in Middle Earth (really looking forward to that book. . .). The fandom and fandom studies panels were all refreshingly wide-ranging, and I wish there had been a way to attend all of the Tolkien Studies panels organized by Robin Reid too . . .
In addition to such stellar content, though, the overall atmosphere of the conference was very welcoming. It was such an enjoyable and rewarding experience to meet and speak both with other graduate students in similar fields of interest as well as with so many of the scholars in these fields!
Is it odd that I'm already looking at my schedule for the Spring 2016 semester, planning for Seattle next March?
Nah. . .
I've encountered a problem while working on my paper for the second Popular Culture and the Deep Past conference later this month.
I wish I could say it was an unexpected problem, but that would be a liiie. . . I knew this was coming. Since my argument concerns meta-narratives, I'm looking far past The Lord of the Rings, and I have three documents of notes from ten books. And I'll have the usual fifteen minutes to present.
To be frank: length is not my friend when writing about J.R.R. Tolkien.