on Modern Fantasy Literature
Deutschen Tolkien Gesellschaft e.V. (DTG)
The 14th Tolkien Seminar of the German Tolkien Society (DTG), held from the 27th to the 29th October 2017 in Augsburg, was dedicated to the topic of “Literary Worldbuilding”. The breadth and variety of the theme invited not only contributions on Tolkien, but also on numerous other authors. It was the biggest Tolkien Seminar of the DTG so far, with over 30 scheduled presentations, which sadly did not all get submitted for publication.
This extraordinarily strong resonance yielded a great variety of insights, considerations, theoretical approaches, etc. and demonstrated impressively how advantageous it is for the analysis of individual authors to examine their respective ways of literary worldbuilding in a contrastive manner; or how different perspectives onto the same work can benefit from each other. Not surprisingly, Tolkien’s well-established position as a theorist and practitioner of secondary world creation was reaffirmed by the presentations and discussions.
Even so it should be said that in this conference—despite the large amount of contributions—the topic could not be covered in its whole entirety, which is partially due to the wide spectrum of the works and authors examined.
The 20th anniversary of the DTG furthermore offered the opportunity to award for the first time the newly established ‘Travel Grants for Junior Researchers’, which enabled the contributions by Laura Seile, Germany, and Andoni Cossio, Spain. The grants are designed to cover travel and accommodation costs of promising up-and-coming scholars who would like to present their research at the Tolkien Seminar. The conference scholarship has its roots in one of the central concerns of the DTG: the promotion of new talents, especially in the field of academic research.
Another novelty was the venue, the University of Augsburg. Thanks to the highly successful cooperation with Stephan Köser and Sebastian Streitberger the Tolkien Seminar found a strong resonance. For all that I would like to thank you and everyone else who helped on-site, as well as Walking Tree Publishers for the cordial and active assistance and finally to the publisher’s team Susanne A. Rayermann and Kathi Bondzio, with the assistance of Larissa Zöller, Marcel Aubron-Bülles and Frank Weinreich.
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