Politics in Tolkien: What We Can Learn From Hobbits

Distinguished Guest Lecture Featuring Tom Shippey

Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Old Main Carson Ballroom
ASU Tempe Campus
Free and open to the public

This event is co-sponsored by: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, The Center for Political Thought and Leadership,
Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU.

Tolkien’s fictions have been seen as guides to morality, ecology, philosophy and even religion – there are at least two sects which have constructed a system of ritual and belief from Tolkien’s mythology of elves. But politics? The word does not occur even once in any of Tolkien’s major works. Do hobbits have any politics?

Maybe silent politics is the best kind to have. In this lecture Professor Shippey, a noted commentator on Tolkien, modern fantasy, and modern reflections of the medieval world, considers matters which politicians have forgotten, turned their backs on, or taken for granted. In the hobbits’ Shire, and the wider world of Middle-earth which surrounds it, he sees both wisdom and warning.

Dr. Tom Shippey is a scholar of medieval literature, including that of Anglo-Saxon England, medievalism, and modern fantasy and science fiction. He is widely considered one of the leading academic scholars on Tolkien. From 2003 to 2007, he served as the editor of the journal Studies in Medievalism. Shippey retired from the Walter J. Ong Chair of Humanities at Saint Louis University‘s College of Arts and Sciences in 2008. He serves on the editorial board of Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review, and he reviews science fiction for the Wall Street Journal.

For more information contact: Roxane Barwick, Manager, Center for Political Thought and Leadership at ASU.