Subcreation: Blessed are the Legend-Makers
The theme for SoCalMoot 2022 will be “Sub-Creation”, a topic which J.R.R. Tolkien explored both in his writings on Middle Earth (where the layers of creation stretch from Iluvatar to the Valar, to the mortal and immortal races), in the essay “On Fairy Stories”, and in his poem “Mythopoeia”, in which he describes mankind as created beings who become little makers or sub-creators themselves.
Our theme considers questions such as:
- How do we as human beings interact with creation, and how does it impact what we create ourselves?
- What is best practice when interacting with the sub-creation of others (i.e. intellectual property)?
- When Tolkien says “blessed are the legend-makers” what does he mean?
- What is the difference between sub-creation and folklore/culture?
- Which types of sub-creation stir us most deeply, and why?
- Are different types of sub-creation better suited for different results/outcomes than others?
- How does the will of the maker affect that which is made, both in Tolkien’s works and in the real world?
- Does that which is created have agency (e.g. the sword Gurthang or the free will of humanity)?
- How do we see long-term sub-creations iterate and change over time?
- In Tolkien’s works, why were some sub-creators unsuccessful (e.g. Melkor), or only able to create certain works once (e.g. Yavanna with the two trees and Feanor with the Silmarilli)?
- Do we find this true of sub-creating in our own world?
This theme invites participants to explore how the theme of “Sub-Creation” is reflected in Tolkien’s writing, other imaginative fiction, and other forms of sub-creation like films, painting, poetry, or music. We also invite creative works which explore this theme to be presented or performed.
Call for Presentations
We invite both on-site and online attendees to submit proposals engaging with our theme. Send your paper/panel/presentation/creative work proposal of under 200 words to our Call for Proposals form. This call will be open until October 22nd.
- Panel Presentations (typically 60-90 minutes), with multiple presenters (with or without a host). Please include the names of each participant in your proposal.
- Oral Presentations (15-20 minutes)
- Performance of creative works (please indicate the time required in your proposal). This could include original creative writing (poetry, short fiction, or short creative nonfiction), performances of original musical compositions, display and discussion of original works of visual art, etc.
- Discussion Groups (60-90 minutes), with prepared discussion questions for group/small groups.
Presenters will have access to audio/visual, but they must bring their own devices and connection cables.
Health and Safety requirements: At this time, the venue does not require masks. We will update the event page with any policy changes as the event approaches.