January 3, 2016 by Anthony Burdge
It is our hope this finds you all well today as we Toast to The Professor! Yesterday we published an article, “State of the 2016 Conference,” which has details concerning our Conference plans moving forward. Please sign up for our newsletter (see box to the right), follow our Facebook page, and Twitter feed to stay up to date on all the forthcoming announcements
Today I would like to introduce our Guests of Honor, two Scholars/Authors who have long been a part of Tolkien and Inklings studies.
Scholar Guest of Honor: Dr. Kristine Larsen
Dr. Kristine Larsen is Professor of Astronomy and Faculty Coordinator of the Copernican Planetarium at Central Connecticut State University.
At the 2015 New York Tolkien Conference Professor Larsen presented “While the World Lasted: End Times in Tolkien’s Works.” This presentation will be published this year in our 2015 Conference Proceedings.
Her teaching and research focus on the intersections between science and society, including science and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. She is the author of Stephen Hawking: A Biography and Cosmology 101, and co-editor (with Anthony Burdge and Jessica Burke) of The Mythological Dimensions of Doctor Who and the award winning The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman. Her work on Tolkien has appeared in Tolkien Studies, Mallorn, Amon Hen, Silver Leaves, Lembas Extra, The Classroom Astronomer, Mercury, and a number of book-length collections of essays.
Author Guest of Honor: Dr. Jared Lobdell
Dr. Jared Lobdell turned 21 the day C. S. Lewis turned 60 and was a long-time correspondent and friend of Professor Tolkien and his son Christopher. Dr. Lobdell had already read The Lord of the Rings when it first came out in 1954/5 because “Numinor” was mentioned in That Hideous Strength. Lobdell was a member of the University of Wisconsin Tolkien Society, to whom Dick West turned over the papers from Jan Finder’s First and Second Conferences on Middle Earth for publication. They were published, with Professor Tolkien’s “Notes on the Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings,” in 1975 as A Tolkien Compass. He published England and Always: Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings in 1981 (reprinted with an additional chapter as The World of the Rings in 2004). His Rise of Tolkienian Fantasy came out in 2005. He contributed more than twenty pieces to the J R R Tolkien Encyclopedia (2006) and an essay to Paul Kerry’s two-volume collection on Tolkien’s Religion in 2009. Recently he has been working on studies of “the other Inklings” — notably those who came to the Inklings from “The Cave.”
Lobdell’s An Irish Friendship in English Lit and More: Nevill Coghill, C.S. Lewis, “The
Cave” and What Came After was published in 2015 by Myth Ink Books in Forgotten Leaves: Essays from a Smial.
Shortly after this essay, Lobdell’s short fiction chapbook Seeking the Lord, was also published by Myth Ink Books.
The forthcoming 2015 NY Tolkien Conference Proceedings will include “Hugo’s Home?” which concerns The Inkling Hugo Dyson
He holds his B.A. from Yale, where he studied under Cleanth Brooks, a 1932-33 member of “The Cave,” his M.B.A. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he was a 1968 member of the University of Wisconsin Tolkien Society, with Dick West and Debbie Webster Rogers, and his Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon. He lives in Elizabethtown PA with his wife Janie (who is fond of Hobbits) and he works at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).