Tolkien Society at the University of Wisconsin

Welcome to the web page of the Tolkien and Fantasy Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison!

Last modified: June 20, 2018

Who we are | Meeting schedule | How to join | For more information | Constitution | Links and items of interest


Who we are

The Tolkien Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was founded in September 1966. It has been meeting once a month ever since (during the first several years, twice a month), with a very few misses here and there (e.g., there were a couple of years when the group did not meet during the summer, but usually it did). In January, 2001, we changed our name to the Tolkien and Fantasy Society to reflect our broad interests better.

We discuss:

·         The work of Tolkien (fiction, poetry, scholarly work, drawings and illustrations)

·         Critical essays about Tolkien

·         Adaptations of Tolkien's work (movies, plays, radio drama, comics)

·         The work of the Inklings and his other friends (such as C. S. Lewis, W. H. Lewis, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield)

·         Other fantasy and science fiction (e. g., E. R. Eddison, Kenneth Morris, William Morris, T. H. White, Peter S. Beagle, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robin McKinley, Patricia Wrightson, et al.)

·         The literature of the Middle Ages (especially the works that Tolkien himself studied, such as the Old English Beowulf and the Middle English Sir Gawain and the Green Knight)

·         World mythology (Tolkien was particularly interested in Germanic and Celtic myth)

·         Language (invented languages like Quenya and Sindarin as well as primary world languages)

Our journal, ORCRIST, appeared irregularly from 1967 to 1977, then was revived for issue number 9 to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2016. The eight issues that were previously published are now mostly out of print, though copies of numbers 3, 4, and 5 (which were co-published as TOLKIEN JOURNAL numbers 11, 13, and 14 respectively) may still be available from the Mythopoeic Society, for those who are interested. There is a set in the Memorial Library on the UW-Madison campus, as well as in a number of other libraries across the U. S.


Meeting schedule

Summer Semester, 2018

Meetings will be held on Sundays beginning at 7:30 p.m. and concluding between 9:30-10:00 p.m. (CST). The location will be in Union South, 1308 W. Dayton Street (on the 200 block of N. Randall Avenue, also fronting on W. Johnson St.), unless otherwise stated. Check "Today in the Union" for the exact room, either on one of the monitors in the building or on the website at http://www.union.wisc.edu

JUNE 17, 2018– URSULA K. LE GUIN REMEMBERED

Discussion of the oeuvre of Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018), with focus on her classic novel, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969). We shall also decide on topics for future meetings.

.

JULY 15, 2018--THE LONG EARTH

Discussion of the first novel in the "Long Earth" series about parallel worlds by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, The Long Earth (2012).

,

AUGUST 19, 2018– F&SF MOVIES

Discussion of the recently released films with a fantasy or science fiction aspect, e..g., Annihilation, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Christopher Robin, The Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Solo, A Wrinkle in Time. Watch the movies that interest you and come share your thoughts about them.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2018– TOLKIEN'S ART

The exhibit this year of Tolkien's own paintings and illustrations at the Bodleian Library in Oxford from June into September published a catalogue edited by Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth. We shall have on hand and discuss this catalogue as well as other books on this topic, including J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator (1995), The Art of The Hobbit (2011), The Art of the Lord of the Rings (2015), all by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.

OCTOBER xx, 2018– TO BE DECIDED

Discussion topc and exact date will be decided at one of our summer meetings.

Spring Semester, 2018

 

JANUARY 28, 2018– F&SF MOVIES

Discussion of the recently released films with a fantasy or science fiction aspect, e. g. Blade Runner: 2049, Coco, Downsizing, Justice League, The Shape of Water, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Thor: Ragnarok.

.

FEBRUARY 11, 2018--LA BELLE SAUVAGE

Discussion of the first novel in Philip Pullman's proposed new trilogy set in the world of his His Dark Materials series, The Book of Dust 1: La Belle Sauvage (2017). This is not quite a prequel but begins earlier and overlaps the time frame of the earlier published books, and shares some of the same characters while also introducing new ones. (This topic was postponed from our December, 2017 meeting).

,

MARCH 11, 2018– BEAGLE, THE OVERNEATH

Discussion of the latest collection of short stories by Peter S. Beagle, The Overneath (Tachyon, 2017). Some of the stories feature Schmendrick from The Last Unicorn and one is set in the world of The Innkeeper's Song.

APRIL 15, 2018– McKILLIP, KINGFISHER

Discussion of Patricia McKillip's latest novel, Kingfisher (2016). This won the 2017 Mythopoeic Award for Best Adult Fantasy.

MAY 6, 2018– TOLKIEN AND C. S. LEWIS ON MYTH

Discussion of Chip Duncan's new documentary, Tolkien and Lewis: Myth, Imagination, and the Quest for Meanng (2017).

Note that the Odyssey Con science-fiction conference will not be held this year. WisCon will be held over Memorial Day weekend as usual; see http://www.wiscon.info for details.

 

Fall Semester, 2017

Meetings will be held on Sundays beginning at 7:30 p.m. and concluding between 9:30-10:00 p.m. (CST). The location will be in Union South, 1308 W. Dayton Street (on the 200 block of N. Randall Avenue, also fronting on W. Johnson St.), unless otherwise stated. Check "Today in the Union" for the exact room, either on one of the monitors in the building or on the website at http://www.union.wisc.edu

SEPTEMBER 17, 2017– BEREN AND LUTHIEN

Christopher Tolkien has prepared a new edition of this story so central to his father's legendarium, scheduled to be published in June, 2017. We shall discuss this and compare it to earlier versions in The Silmarillion (1977) and the History of Middle-earth series.

On Saturday, September 23, there will be two lectures, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Upper House, 365 E. Campus Mall, #200. Dr. Michael Ward will speak on "Planet Narnia: C. S. Lewis and the Seven Heavens" in the morning, and Dr. Holly Ordway will speak on "Tolkien's Modern Sources: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages." Admission $10.00 (lunch on your own).

OCTOBER 8, 2017--WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS

Discussion of the comedy-cum-horror film What We Do in the Shadows movie (2014), about vampires in New Zealand trying to fit in, directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (both of whom also played major characters). Waititi is also the director of Thor: Ragnarok (release date November 3, 2017) so the earlier film gives some taste of what's to come. Film scholar Kristin Thompson will provide some background on Taika Waititi, and the meeting will be held in her home.

,

NOVEMBER 12, 2017– THE LADIES OF GRACE ADIEU -- POSTPONED TO DECEMBER 10

There was a mixup and the Union scheduled us for November 11. We noticed too late to notify people. This meeting was therefore cancelled and the topic was postponed until the December meeting.

DECEMBER 10, 2017– THE LADIES OF GRACE ADIEU --PHILIP PULLMAN, BOOK OF DUST POSTPONED TO FEBRUARY

Discussion of Susanna Clarke, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, (2006) (postponed from November 12). We will have our traditional cake catered by the Union, and we will set dates and topics for our spring semester meetings. Philip Pullman's Book of Dust (published October 19, 2017), originally scheduled for tonight's meeting, will be taken up at our February meeting 11th meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to join

Simply show up to meetings! There are no dues, no requirements, no hazings, no pledges. If you are active in the fantasy and/or science fiction community, feel free to bring items of interest to meetings; we always have a "News and Notes" time in each meeting.

 

 

 


For more information

For more information on the Tolkien and Fantasy Society at the UW-Madison, feel free to send us email at tolkiensocietyuw@gmail.com.


Links and items of interest

Here is a listing of the contents of all published issues of Orcrist, the Society's journal.

And here is a listing of past meeting topics.

Tolkien and Fantasy Society member Dorothea Salo runs a mailing list on the topic of Tolkien's invented languages. To learn more, read the Elfling list's web page.

People interested in Tolkien's languages might also check the website of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship.

Other websites of groups that may be of interest:

Dorothy L. Sayers Society: http://www.sayers.org.uk/

Madison C. S. Lewis Society: http://www.cslewismadison.org

Marquette University Tolkien Papers: http://www.marquette.edu/library/archives/tolkien.shtml

Mythopoeic Society: http://www.mythsoc.org

Netherlands C. S. Lewis website (in English and Dutch): http://www.lewisiana.nl/

Rivendell Group of the Mythopoeic Society (Twin Cities smial): http://www.tc.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html

Tolkien Society (based in England): http://www.tolkiensociety.org

Wade Center: http://www.wheaton.edu/wadecenter/


Return to top of page.

 

 


 

How to join

Simply show up to meetings! There are no dues, no requirements, no hazings, no pledges. If you are active in the fantasy and/or science fiction community, feel free to bring items of interest to meetings; we always have a "News and Notes" time in each meeting.

 

 

 


For more information

For more information on the Tolkien and Fantasy Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, feel free to send us email at tolkiensocietyuw@gmail.com



Return to top of page.