Discussion Series

Friday, September 5.  2:30 PM.  Anne Arundel lounge.  Peter Grybauskas will speak on “Gollum, the Great War, and the Last Alliance.”  Peter Grybauskas is a Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Maryland College Park. He taught in Italy and collaborated with the Roman Association of Tolkien Studies before joining the Academic Writing Program at UMD. His work has appeared in Tolkien StudiesMythlore, and edited collections in English and Italian.

Thursday, September 11.  2 PM.  Anne Arundel lounge.  Ray Phaneuf will present “Protecting the Dragon’s Hoard:  A Nanotechnology Approach.”  Ray Phaneuf is a Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Maryland. His research involves application of surface science techniques for applications in nanotechnology, energy harvesting and cultural heritage science.  He recently received one of the first National Science Foundation grants to study the application of nanotechnology to the conservation of silver art objects in collaboration with the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, MD.

Monday, September 15.  6:30 PM.  Tawes 1100.  Thomas Johnson will speak on “‘Now that I see him, I do pity him’: Gollum’s Literary and Cinematic Development(s)”.  Thomas Johnson received his Master’s of Arts in English Literature from the Catholic University of America in May 2014. His scholarly interests include film and television studies, speculative fiction, and the comparative study of print and visual media. He presented his paper “Poor Unfortunate Souls: The Corporate Transformation of The Little Mermaid” at the 2013 annual national conference of the Popular Culture Association. 

Wednesday, September 17.  Noon.  Anne Arundel lounge.  Michelle Markey Butler and Chip Crane will tag-team a brown bag event.

          Chip Crane will speak on “Tolkien’s Prose Style: Ambiguity and Enchantment in Small Words.”  Dr. Crane is a lecturer in the English Department, where he teaches Tolkien, medieval and Renaissance literature, and professional writing.  He has published in medieval rhetoric and has a forthcoming essay in MLA Approaches to Teaching Tolkien.

          Michelle Markey Butler will present “Tolkien Memes:  Crowdsourced Literary Criticism?”  Michelle Markey Butler is a lecturer for the College of Information Studies and Honors College.  While she did her dissertation on direct address in medieval and early modern drama, her current research project is internet memes as literary criticism.  She is also the author of SF/F stories with a debut novel releasing in December 2014 from Pink Narcissus Press.

Thursday, September 25.  2 PM.   Anne Arundel lounge.  Noah Ben Cogan will speak on “Tolkien and Classical Epic: Processing Emotions through Storytelling.”  He is currently a 2nd year T.A. and graduate student in Classics at the University of Maryland College Park. He graduated from Vassar College in 2013 with a B.A. in Greek and Roman Studies.

Thursday, September 25–NEW DATE–7 PM.  Catholic Student Center.  Bro. Patrick Mary Briscoe, O.P., M.Div. (Cand.) will speak on “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost:  The Spirituality of J.R.R. Tolkien.”  Bro. Patrick Mary Briscoe, O.P., M.Div. (Cand.), is a Dominican friar currently studying theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. He studied philosophy and French literature at his alma mater, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He was raised on tales of hobbits and dragons.  This event is sponsored and organized by Catholic Terps.

Friday, September 26.  Noon.  Anne Arundel lounge.  Steven Lovaas will present “Speak Friend: Tolkien-based Authentication and Other Security Insights From Middle Earth.”  Steven Lovaas is an IT Security Manager, Colorado State University, who ought to have known he was destined for a career in Information Security when he learned to write secret messages to his high school friends in Tolkien’s Elvish script and Dwarvish runes. More than 30 years later he has served the InfoSec community as instructor, author, and security professional, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Communication & Technology.

Monday, October 6.  6:30 PM.  Tawes 1100.  Graham McAleer and Edward Aldesek will doublehead an evening of scholarship.

          Graham McAleer will speak on “Why Bother Defending the Shire?”  Graham McAleer, Ph.D., was born and raised in the north of England. He attended universities in England, Canada, Belgium, and the United States. Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Maryland, he teaches and researches in the areas of ethics.  Most recently, he is the author of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings: A Philosophy of War (Amazon.com).  

          Edward Aldesek will present “Aesthetic Disgust, Adaptation, and The Lord of the Rings.”  Ted Alsedek teaches Honors and AP English Literature and Composition at Calvert Hall College High School in Towson, MD. He received his MA in Liberal Studies from Loyola University Maryland in January.