A wealth of Tolkien sessions, at the International Medieval Congress 2018 at the Leeds Hilton in the UK (2nd – 3rd July). The most interesting papers for me would be those on the deeper historical context, in “Tolkien: Medieval Roots and Modern Branches, II” on Tuesday 3rd July: “Tolkien’s Agrarianism in its Time” (hopefully surveying the verdant undergrowth of nature-thinking, land reform concerns and organicist living that informed radical politics from the 1920s onwards), and “A Man of His Time?: Tolkien and the Edwardian Worldview”. Rather too expensive for me, though, just to hear those two papers: £35 + a £45 train fare to arrive after noon = £80.
There’s also a Tolkien Society Seminar session at the same venue on 1st July 2018 (easily confused with the above) titled “Tolkien the Pagan?”. Sadly it’s not a “let’s think hard about the pagan aspects inherent in Catholicism” session, but apparently more about exploring how modern neo-paganisms have taken up aspects of Middle-earth. Which is historical context of a kind, I suppose, if it delves back to the 1965-1985 period. Update: the speaker programme for “Tolkien the Pagan?” has been published. Nope, it’s not for me. The only one that interests is Jessica Yates on “The Origins of Vingilot”.