Worlds made of heroes: My First Conference Experience

tolkien2It has been a few days now, almost a month actually, since my first conference talk and I still struggle to organize my thoughts. These two days were so full of new impressions, new insights, and new people, I really don’t know where to begin. Since many wonder how my talk actually went, considering my nervousness, I think I’ll start with that. Was my talk ground breaking? Of course not. My research on ‘Identity formation of Hobbits by means of othering’ is not extraordinary nor is it particulartly unique or thought provoking. There are some aspects of my talk that I could’ve analysed in more detail, but everything I proposed seemed to make sense considering the feedback. Also, I was told that my performance was solid and people were genuinely surprised to hear that it was my first conference talk. So for me, I count that as a success. I’m just a master’s student at the beginning of my academic career, I didn’t expect (nor did I intended) to propose mind-blowing new theories. There were others that had some amazing talks and fascinating reseach approaches to Tolkien’s work. In that case, I’d rather be a pygmie among giants than a giant among pygmies. Honestly, even if I were the worst scholar at that conference, the fact that I was able to hear reknown Tolkien scholars such as Edward James, Nick Groom, or Carl Phelpstead was gratification enough.  Even though many are interested in what has been said at the conference, I will not reproduce the content of the other scholar’s thoughts. The main reason is that I don’t have their permission (some of these research topics are work in progress). What I can do is to give you the link to the conference programme. Having said that, there is one talk I can share with you because the scholar Bernard Scherr posted it on his homepage. Bernard Scherr is a composer and lecturer that focuses on music and education. One of his projects was an composition, performed by his students, of  Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. You can watch and hear his recording over on his homepage!

There is so much I could and want to write, but I still can’t get my head around it. Maybe later on, I’ll be able write more.


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