Above All Shadows: Tolkien and Uncertain Futures
What: OzMoot 2024
When: January 26-28, 2024
Where: Harold Park Community Hall. 1 Dalgal Wy, Forest Lodge NSW 2034, Australia
Signum University and the Mythgard Institute, in partnership with The Tolkien Society and Hern Ennorath, invite you to join us in Sydney, Friday-Sunday, January 26-28, for our second annual OzMoot. Our theme this year is “Above All Shadows: Tolkien and Uncertain Futures”.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium evolved over his lifetime, during which he simultaneously enjoyed the happiness and fulfillment brought by his family, career, and love while enduring the darker challenges of being an orphan, traumatic war service, and the loss of his close friends. His stories resonate with us because of Tolkien’s implicit message that life offers ‘hope without guarantees’. We can never know how things will turn out, nor what the future will hold. However, Tolkien repeatedly compels us to presume that despair is a mistake in the face of the unknown, from Sam on the Stairs of Cirith Ungol to Húrin at the Fens of Serech, from Aragorn’s dilemma at Parth Galen to Turin’s lifetime struggles.
The title comes from Sam’s song of hope, “Above all shadows rides the Sun and Stars for ever dwell.”
All generations may face a creeping darkness, a challenge to deal with, or a threat to endure, sometimes of an existential nature. OzMoot invites papers that explore how Tolkien’s characters resist the darkness of despair even in the face of an uncertain future.
Papers may consider the following topics from Tolkien’s legendarium and other works, but are by no means limited to:
- Despair and defeat
- Hope and resistance
- How characters persevere in the face of adversity
- Choice and its consequences
- The Unknown as an influence on character’s choices
- How these themes impacted Tolkien’s life
- The applicability of these themes on our own lives
We are seeking creative presentations, academic papers, and interactive workshops and activities around our theme and will accept proposals from both online and local attendees.
SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL HERE. Our call for proposals closes on December 1.
Children under the age of 18 may attend for free when accompanied by an adult guardian.
Tea and light refreshments are included with on-site tickets.
For questions leading up to the event, contact Regional Moot Coordinator Karita Alexander.
For questions about online participation, contact Digital Moot Coordinator Jean Prior.
Please note, a conference theme helps tie the day together and optimize fun—and we welcome anyone to respond to the Call for Proposals. Our moots are awesome places for scholars to develop their presentation skills.