So, here's some other big news I'm a bit late in sharing: next week I'm giving a talk on THE HOBBIT at Marquette University, as well as an informal presentation earlier the same day with a class studying THE HOBBIT there*
Here's a link to the official announcement of the event:
Unlike most of my talks, which are heavily footnoted, this will be more of an 'oral history' or anecdotal account, passing along stories about the twists and turns of how the manuscripts of Tolkien's most important works happened to wind up in a city he never visited at a university with which he had no previous ties. If you're in the area, come join us -- the more the merrier.
And, I shd note: this is just the first of three events Marquette is hosting to celebrate THE HOBBIT's seventy-fifth anniversary year: A month later (November 8th), Wayne and Christina are giving a presentation about Tolkien's Middle-earth Art, focusing no doubt on their recent excellent THE ART OF THE HOBBIT (which I saw in Blackwells on our recent Oxford trip, but wh. I don't think is out yet over here). Wish I cd go to this;** I've heard them talk on the subject before, but they're constantly finding new things to say about it and it's always worth hearing them again
Then in February (I nearly typed "next spring", but Febr. is still deep winter in Milwaukee) they're hosting A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION OF PETER JACKSON'S THE HOBBIT, with Robin Reid, Yvette Kisor, Edward Risden, and Richard West: all people I know from Kalamazoo (Richard of course I've known far longer than that: he was best man at my wedding!) and, coincidently, all four are contributors to a book I just finished co-editing, and all five of us contributed to Jan and Phil's book on the earlier Peter Jackson movies (PICTURING TOLKIEN). This is another event I'd like to attend but probably won't be able to manage, given the two thousand miles separating me from it.
So, this year is a good time to be a Tolkienist living in or near Milwaukee. Not to mention the year-round attraction of having the Tolkien manuscripts there and available for study.
* my topic there is 'how to become a Tolkien scholar'.
**unfortunately, after the family crisis trips in January, the non-crisis family + Leocon/Austin trip in April, Kalamazoo in May, Pennsylvania in June-July, England in September, and Marquette/Rockford in October, and one more family trip to come before the end of the year, I'm pretty well tripped out to for 2012. Here's hoping 2013 includes more staying at home with the cats (all three are sharing the room with me as I type this, keeping me in their sight in case I try to slip off again)
12 hours ago