Video Archive

The videos presented here were shot by staff at the New York Tolkien Conference 2015 and 2016. Our eternal thanks to Bronwen Hobbs for her contributions. The 2016 presentations were all shot via Facebook Live by Anthony Burdge, with the exception of The Importance of Geneaology and presentations by Dawn Felagund

2015 New York Tolkien Conference 
Minstrel Guest of Honor John DiBartolo and The Lonely Mountain Band Opening Song

2015 New York Tolkien Conference
Dr. Corey Olsen narrating between songs

The Loremasters of Fëanor: Historical Bias in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien and Transformative Works

By Dawn Felagund

Presented at the New York Tolkien Conference on 13 June 2015,
This paper explores the concept of historical bias in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and considers how authors of Tolkien-based transformative works (fan fiction) use the historical bias present in the books to generate ideas for their stories.
Please see the following post for a detailed synopsis and graphs and data from the Powerpoint presentation

2016 New York Tolkien Conference: The Inklings and Science
Guest of Honor Jared Lobdell
Filmed via Facebook Live

Lobdell’s presentation discusses Inkling Charles L. Wrenn, with CSL and JRRT, reminds us that the Inklings were JRRT’s creation originally, that Lewis, Tolkien, and Wrenn had somewhat differing views on the sciences of language, that the non-appearance of LANGUAGE AND HUMAN NATURE (the Lewis-Tolkien Collaboration) can be traced to those differing views (separating Language and Human Nature from languages and human natures) — “languages are the chief distinguishing marks of peoples” — and presentation concludes with a suggestion of the conclusion Tolkien would have hoped to wind up with.

Guest of Honor Kristine Larsen
Streamed Live via our Facebook page July 16th 2016
Lewis, Tolkien, and Popular Level Science: What the Well-Educated Inkling Actually Knew about the Universe (As Reflected in the Details of Narnia, Middle-earth, and Other Secondary Worlds)
Among the attention to detail that draws readers into Tolkien and Lewis’s Secondary Worlds of Middle-earth and Narnia (and others) is the many scientific elements and references. From the visibility of the slenderest crescent moon on Durin’s Day to the death of Charn’s star, the time travel of the Notion Club members to the watery paradise of Venus, the science of the early and mid 20th century echoes throughout these fantastical works. This talk will take a tour through the fantasy and science fiction writings of Tolkien and Lewis, highlighting the authors’ use of some of the more interesting (and bizarre) scientific claims of their day (both those that turned out to be factually accurate, and those, well, not so much so).

An excerpt from J.R.R. Tolkien and War: The World Wars and the War of the Ring by Janet Brennan Croft
Filmed by Bronwen Hobbs
This lecture focuses on war as a theme in Tolkien’s work, the influence of the World Wars, how fantasy can arise from war experiences, war and families, Tolkien’s depiction of post-traumatic stress disorder, and just-war theory analysis of the War of the Ring.


The Importance of Geneaology in Tolkien’s Works
Presented by Laurel Michalek and Kaleena Ma
filmed by Bronwen Hobbs
Genealogies are to characters what etymology is to language, and we all know how much Tolkien loved languages. Tolkien was a philologist, a scholar of the detailed history of languages. He paid great attention to words and their history and meaning. Therefore, he extended his love for languages to the importance of showing the detailed genealogies of all races of Middle-earth. In this talk, we are going to focus on two races in particular: hobbits and elves. Details of a third cousin twice removed usually are not the focus of modern family trees, but these relatives are important to Hobbits. Their family trees are large, extremely detailed and considered highly important. Any respectable hobbit will know his second cousin twice removed. But why? Why does this jovial race focus so much on relationships between families and persons? Another race with interesting genealogical patterns is the Elves. As immortal beings with progressively fewer children some of the family trees are extremely small, whereas other (such as Fëanor’s) are quite a bit larger. Despite the startling difference in size lineage, it was still considered important among the elves, but it is addressed very very differently, and as such there are different questions to ask of the elven genealogies. Do family trees differ between the Noldor, Teleri and Vanyar? How did relations change between Ages and why? Where did Tolkien get the ideas for these family trees? Why emphasize the differences in the focus of genealogies between races? What do his writings (both fiction, commentaries, and personal letters) reveal about his genealogies, whether it be naming traditions or lineal emphasis? In this discussion panel we hope to address these questions and more, and hear what others have to say in regards to Tolkien’s created genealogies.


The Borders of the (Fictional) World: Fan Fiction Archives, Ideological Approaches, and Fan Identity

by Dawn Walls-Thumma and Janet McCullough John looks at popular archives in the Tolkien fan fiction community and considers how the cultures of these archives arise from long-standing conflicts in the Tolkien fandom over how to correctly interpret his texts. The paper looks at how archives differ in the importance they assign to morality, adherence to the facts of the texts, critical purposes, social justice motives, and exploration of sexuality and considers how the members of an archive–not the site’s administration or explicit purpose–drive the site’s culture. You can view the presentation Powerpoint, including the data discussed in the paper, here: