Student Research Conference

Friday, October 10, 2014

LaPlata Multipurpose Room

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

1.  Ginni A. La Rosa.  Ethical Pluralism in Eriador: Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s Complex Environmental Vision.

Synopsis: The terrain of Middle-earth is a complex mosaic of landscapes either fully wild or under a spectrum of management schemes, for the good or ill of the landscape itself. Various characters and groups throughout the legendarium display a broad range of ethical values towards the natural world, often resulting in conflicts of interest over the best way to manage (or not manage) the land. Tolkien’s depictions of these environmental ethics values emphasizes their similarities over their differences, and reinforces the need for cooperation between these groups to ultimately defeat the dark forces of utter destruction.
Bio: Ginni A. La Rosa graduated from the University of Maryland in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy, with a concentration in Wildlife Ecology and Management. She has applied to the University System of Maryland’s Marine Estuarine Environmental Science (MEES) graduate program, to hopefully study fish ecology within the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic. She credits J.R.R. Tolkien’s deep love for the natural world presented through his writings as a never-ending source of inspiration renewed with each re-reading.  Tolkien course blog:


2.  Manoli Anagnostiadis.  References to Tales of The Silmarillion in Peter Jackson’s Film Adaptation of The Lord of the Rings

3.  Matthew Rice.  “One of the Kings of Men born into a latter time”: Faramir, Turin, and morality in Middle Earth.  


10:45 AM – 12:15 PM

1.  Garrett Charles Wessler.  Mithril, is it possible?

Synopsis: Mithril is the perfect metal. It is strong yet light and impenetrable yet supple. Approximate engineering strength values of mithril—estimated from Tolkien’s writings—were used to make real world comparisons and investigate the future of making a mithril equivalent.
Bio: Garrett Wessler is an undergrad engineering student who engaged in a Tolkien inspired seminar class his sophomore year. He is a long time Tolkien fan that looks at Middle-Earth through a technical perspective.


2.  Robert Harris.  “When the Moon Hits Your Eye: The Glares of Glámr, Grendel, and Grinder.”

3.  Eleanor Simpson.  ‘Tolkien 2.0 – Iterations of Animal treatment from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings’

Bio:  Eleanor Simpson graduated May 2014 with an English degree from University of Maryland. She has continued to write and speak having been invited to present her undergraduate thesis at the annual Mythopoetic Society’s conference at Wheaton College (Norton Mass.)  She works as a ballet teacher and assistant director with the City of Rockville as well as a special volunteer with the National Cancer Institute (Bethesda.)  

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