NYTC Guest Speakers

Megan B. Abrahamson is a PhD Candidate in English at the University of Missouri – Columbia, studying late medieval romance literature and its intersections with modern fanfiction. Arriving at medieval studies through her love of Tolkien, Megan has taught Tolkien at the University of Missouri and the University of New Mexico, focusing on the medievalism of his works. She has published in Mythlore and is the editor of Mythprint, the quarterly newsletter of the Mythopoeic Society, where she is also a member of the governing board.
Nicholas Birns first read The Lord of the Rings in the early months of 1975, finishing very near to the memorable day of March 25. He has published on Tolkien in Tolkien Studies, Mythlore, and The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. He is also the author of Understanding Anthony Powell (University of South Carolina Press, 2004), Theory After Theory (Broadview, 2010) Barbarian Memory (Palgrave, 2013), and a forthcoming book about contemporary Australian Literature  (Sydney University Press, 2015),  as well as many other books and journal articles. including contributions to Exemplaria, Science-Fiction Studies, Leviathan, Victorians Institute Journal, and Extrapolation. He currently leaches at the College of New Rochelle. He is the editor  of Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/NZ Literature, and a past secretary-treasurer of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.
David Bratman Co-editor of the journal Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review
Janet Brennan Croft is Liaison to the School of Communication and Information and Librarian for Disability Services and Copyright at Rutgers University Libraries.  She is the author of War in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien (Praeger, 2004; winner, Mythopoeic Society Award for Inklings Studies). She has also written on the Peter Jackson films, J.K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Lois McMaster Bujold, and other authors, and is editor or co-editor of five collections of literary essays.  She edits the refereed scholarly journal Mythlore, and her current project is the co-edited collection Orphan Black: Sestras, Scorpions, and Sinister Science (McFarland, 2018).
Leslie Donovan is a full professor in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. Her earlier training as a medievalist, specializing in Old English literature, led to her scholarship in Tolkien studies. publications include works on J.R.R. Tolkien, Old English women saints, Beowulf, and Honors pedagogy. During the last 25, she has taught undergraduate courses on Tolkien at all levels and in more than 10 different formats. She is most well-known in Tolkien studies circles as the editor of Approaches to Teaching Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Other Works, co-editor of Perilous and Fair: Women in the Works and Life of J. R. R. Tolkien, along with some articles and numerous conference presentations on mythology and women in Tolkien’s works. Donovan is also a member of the Mythopoeic Society’s Board of Stewards and the editor of the Mythopoeic Press.
David Emerson Tolkien Scholar, Author/Contributor to Mythlore , Musician, with the Rivendell Group of The Mythopoeic Society
Jason Fisher is the editor of Tolkien and the Study of His Sources (McFarland, 2011), which won the 2014 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies. With Salwa Khoddam and Mark R. Hall, he co-edited C.S. Lewis and the Inklings: Faith, Imagination, and Modern Technology and C.S. Lewis and the Inklings: Discovering Hidden Truth (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012 and 2015). Fisher’s work has appeared in Tolkien StudiesMythloreBeyond BreeThe Journal of Inklings StudiesSehnsucht, and other journals, books, and encyclopedias. He can be reached through his occasional blog, “Lingwë – Musings of a Fish”
Peter Grybauskas is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Maryland. He teaches Tolkien courses on campus and abroad in the UK. He is currently at work on a monograph, and his essays on Tolkien have appeared in Mythlore, Tolkien Studies, and several edited collections in English and Italian. He is on occasion known to indulge in a secret gaming vice.

Kristine Larsen “The Tolkienian Astronomer,” Professor of Astronomy, Faculty Coordinator of the Copernican Planetarium at Central Connecticut State University. Dr. Larsen is a prolific Tolkien scholar and her research focus is 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 Whoand 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.

Ryder Miller
 is an eco-critic, critic, poet, writer, and journalist. He is a regular contributor to The Mythic Circle, Beyond Bree, Mythprint, editor of From Narnia to a Space Odyssey


Robin Anne Reid, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Literature and Languages at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Her teaching areas are creative writing, critical theory, and marginalized literatures. Recent Tolkien publications are an essay on female bodies and femininities in The Lord of the Rings in The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium, edited by Christopher Vaccaro, a bibliographic essay on the history of scholarship on female characters in Tolkien’s work in Perilous and Fair, edited by Janet Brennan Croft and Leslie Donovan, and a bibliographic essay on race and Tolkien studies in Tolkien and Alterity, edited by Christopher Vaccaro and Yvette Kisor. Besides her work on Tolkien and feminist science fiction, she has also published on fan productions and fan activism in online media fandomPrograms:

Program: Atheists, Agnostics, and Animists, Oh, My!: Secular Readings of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Legendarium

Christopher Vaccaro is a Senior Lecturer in English Language and Literature, in gender and sexuality studies, and in medieval studies at the University of Vermont, where he has worked since 1999. He has published two books, The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium and Tolkien and Alterity, and essays in The Journal of Tolkien Research and in Mythlore.

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