This weekend, the Tolkien Society is hosting a virtual Summer Seminar, a short academic conference on a theme pertaining to scholarship about J.R.R. Tolkien, the British scholar and author of The Lord of the Rings. This year, most of the seminar has taken a clear turn for the “woke” — complete with multiple papers on LGBT themes and “anti-racism,” a movement inspired by Marxist critical race theory.
The Tolkien Society invited academics and others to submit papers to present at the seminar, specifically encouraging the “theme of diversity” and representation.
“While interest in the topic of diversity has steadily grown within Tolkien research, it is now receiving more critical attention than ever before. Spurred by recent interpretations of Tolkien’s creations and the cast list of the upcoming Amazon show The Lord of the Rings, it is crucial we discuss the theme of diversity in relation to Tolkien,” the society urged in its prompt for papers.
“Representation is now more important than ever and Tolkien’s efforts to represent (or ignore) particular characteristics requires further examination,” the society prompt argued. “Additionally, how a character’s identity shapes and influences its place within Tolkien’s secondary-world still requires greater attention. This seminar aims to explore the many possible applications of ‘diversity’ within Tolkien’s works, his adaptations, and his readership.”
The society asked for papers about “diversity,” and the presenters did not disappoint.
Leading off the discussion on Saturday will be Cordeliah Logsdon with “Gondor in Transition: A Brief Introduction to Transgender Realities in The Lord of the Rings.” Yes, the first speaker will discuss “transgender realities” in The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien, an orthodox Roman Catholic, would have been extremely surprised to discover that his work included “transgender realities.” Deconstructionists claim that a text has no meaning except what a reader decides, so LGBT activists can read all sorts of sexual mumbo jumbo into The Lord of the Rings.
Other speakers will address “The Invisible Other: Tolkien’s Dwarf-Women and the ‘Feminine Lack,'” “Projecting Indian Myths, Culture and History onto Tolkien’s Worlds,” and “The Lossoth: Indigeneity, Identity, and Antiracism.” “Anti-racism” refers to a movement that pushes Marxist critical race theory, which teaches that hidden racism pervades American institutions. CRT teaches people to seize on any racial disparity as ipso facto proof of racial discrimination, despite the clear prohibitions on racial discrimination in federal law. CRT is wreaking havoc on society, sparking a civil war in education.
Yet along with the discussion of “transgender realities,” the seminar involves not one, not two, but three papers with “queer” in the title:
“Something Mighty Queer”: Destabilizing Cishetero Amatonormativity in the Works of Tolkien
Queer Atheists, Agnostics, and Animists, Oh, My!
Pardoning Saruman?: The Queer in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
One might almost say that the Tolkien Society is “queering” the works of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, from The Lord of the Rings to The Hobbit to The Silmarillion. Talk about the “death of the author.”
Of course, Tolkien passed away in 1973, and his son, Christopher Tolkien, passed away last year. Perhaps the Tolkien Society is acting on the assumption that no one will be able to speak on behalf of J.R.R. Tolkien to express what would certainly have been his utter disgust at having his works twisted to support the LGBT agenda.
Fans and conservative Christians, especially faithful Roman Catholics, can still speak out, however. Tolkien did not push transgenderism or “queerness” in the sense of LGBT pride in his work, and it’s disgusting to see the Tolkien Society twist his work in this way. We must not take this lying down.