Will King Arthur ever return to England? He already has. The Inklings and King Arthur is now available on Amazon and will be sold during the release party at TexMoot!
In the midst of war-torn Britain, King Arthur returned in the writings of the Oxford Inklings. Learn how J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield brought hope to their times and our own in their Arthurian literature.
Although studies of the “Oxford Inklings” abound, astonishingly enough, none has yet examined their great body of Arthurian work. Yet each of these major writers tackled serious and relevant questions about government, gender, violence, imperialism, secularism, and spirituality through their stories of the Quest for the Holy Grail. This rigorous and sophisticated volume studies does so for the first time.
Four and a half years ago, a previously-unpublished work by J.R.R. Tolkien appeared: The Fall of Arthur, his only explicitly Arthurian writing. The publication of this extraordinary poem revealed subtle connections between “The Matter of Britain” and the rest of Tolkien’s legendarium, and thus invited an examination of the theological, literary, historical, and linguistic implications of the Arthurian writings of all the major Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield. It became immediately obvious that a scholarly study of these works was necessary.
I began editing The Inklings and King Arthur, a collection of academic essays that fills the gap. It rigorously and accessibly examines the Arthurian works of Tolkien, Lewis, Williams, Barfield, their predecessors, and their contemporaries. It offers exciting, important analytical perspectives on a wide range of the Inklings’ Arthurian and related works, contributing essential material to the academic field. It brings together established, well-known scholars and emerging voices. It employs many theoretical perspectives and interacts with a wide variety of important conversations.And the Inklings themselves are going to come from the grave to celebrate.
Here are the endorsement blurbs from the back of the book:
Owen A. Barfield: My thanks go out to Sørina Higgins, for her driving force which has pulled together this impressive collection of essays. These shine a light on a fascinating aspect of the Inklings’ work. I’m struck by the appreciation of Britishness that weaves through the selection. The list of contributors reads as a Who’s Who in the field of Inkling Studies. This valuable work would be a fine addition to the shelves of scholars and thinkers everywhere.
Helen Fulton: These richly varied essays are a welcome introduction to the Arthurian writings of the Inklings, the group of Oxford intellectuals who included J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams. Each essay explores an aspect of the Arthurian legend as it was re-imagined in the first half of the twentieth century, shaped by two world wars and far-reaching social change. Engaging with key themes of Arthurian reception, from medieval origins to mythic geographies, Christian modernism, gender, and imperialism, this vibrant new collection is the first comprehensive overview of Arthur in the world of the Inklings.
Michael Ward: This serious and substantial volume addresses a complex subject that scholars have for too long overlooked. The contributors show how, in the legends of King Arthur, the Inklings found material not only for escape and consolation, but also, and more importantly, for exploring moral and spiritual questions of pressing contemporary concern.
Tom Shippey: During the earlier twentieth century, the period of the two World Wars, “King Arthur” became (once again) a potent symbol of defiance, national sentiment, Christian unity, and secular failure for politicians like Churchill, historians like R.G. Collingwood, and more creative writers than can readily be remembered. Prominent among the latter were “the Inklings,” the group of friends which included Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams. Sørina Higgins’ compilation of twenty essays provides a survey both of the Inklings’ contributions, which culminated in Tolkien’s The Fall of Arthur (2013), and of their wider context in life and literature; as also a number of closely-focused studies of works both familiar and little-known. Packed with information, and engagingly written, this provides a new view of the Inklings and of their intellectual and cultural world.
Now, the Inklings have come back to life to tweet about King Arthur!
As you may recall, two years ago, @Oddest_Inkling was drunk-texting on Christmas. Last year, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield went for an #InkWalk in the country together, tweeting as they went. Tomorrow, they are going to have a Twitter party to celebrate the publication of The Inklings and King Arthur!
Please join @OddestInkling, @PilgrimInNarnia, @BarfieldDiction, & @TolkienElfland or use the hashtag #InklingsAndArthur at 8pm Eastern Standard time tomorrow, Monday, January 1st, to follow the fun! They will talk about their Arthurian works, discuss what appealed to them about the Matter of Britain, quote from their own writing and others’, and maybe even answer questions about the book.
Meanwhile, go order a copy! Order one for a friend! Order a dozen for anybody you forgot at Christmas! And we’ll see you at TexMoot, friends.
Here is the schedule for the TexMoot!
9:00-10:15 Flash-Paper Presentations: 10-minute academic papers on the theme of healing in literature/literature in healing
10:30-12:00 Flash-Paper and Creative Presentations: 10-minute poems, short stories, works of art, and musical presentations on the symposium’s theme
12-1:30 Box lunch on site: Lunch and book release party for “The Inklings and King Arthur.
1:30-2:45 Panel of Invited Guests: scholars from literature, language, linguistics, and trauma healing to talk about the theme of healing in literature/literature in healing
3:00-4:15 Flash-Paper Presentations: More 10-minute academic papers on the day’s theme
4:30-6:00 Keynote Address by Corey Olsen, the Tolkien Professor
Dr. Corey Olsen, “The Tolkien Professor,” will offer a keynote talk at TexMoot on the conference theme. Here is an abstract for his address:
“Release from Bondage”
In “On Fairy-stories,” J. R. R. Tolkien explains his concept of “Escape.” What he articulates in that talk is sometimes misunderstood, so I will begin by defining and exploring this term and its exact scope as Tolkien presents it. Next, I will look at how Tolkien’s stories appeal to and utilize that idea, bringing it to life in narratives and in characters. The Lay of Leithian, subtitled “Release from Bondage,” is a significant story of Escape of various kinds. Without the context of both the subtitle and Tolkien’s principle of Escape from “On Fairy-stories,” it is impossible to fully grasp the meaning of the story of Beren and Lúthien. Therefore, I will explore the ways in which he embodies these ideas about Escape and release in this seminal story, then turn to The Lord of the Rings. Aragorn tells the tale of Beren and Lúthien under Weathertop, and the story about release from bondage has a powerful impact upon the characters who hear it. This central narrative recurs at the Stairs of Cirith Ungol, when Sam ponders the significance of old stories to the one he and Frodo are currently enacting. Examining the tale of Beren and Lúthien in these three iterations serves as a case study for how Tolkien’s concept of Escape is embodied within his stories, and then how the reception of these stories affects listeners and readers. Finally, I will turn to a book by Tolkien’s friend C. S. Lewis: The Last Battle, where Lewis confronts the question of escape from Death. In a surprising turn, his characters make the Great Escape by not escaping from Death. Due to this bold narrative choice, many readers have found this final volume of The Chronicles of Narnia strange, bizarre, or morbid. But such a reading utterly misses the point. Having looked at Escape, what it is, how it works, and the effect of hearing stories of escape, I will close by pointing out how this renewed perspective enables a powerful reading of The Last Battle and the biggest escape question of all: our relationship with Death and with the entire mortal life. Lewis’s unexpected answers to these questions of escape prompt readers to apply the principles of nightfall in Narnia to their own lives, by equating the end of the Chronicles with the beginning of their own story.
The cost of lunch is included in the registration fee. The choices are listed below. All meals include kettle chips, a fresh baked cookie, fruit cup, and choice of bottled water or canned soda.
- The Bella Wrap: Balsamic Marinated Mushrooms, Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Green Onions, Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Garlic Aioli in an Herb Wrap
- The Deli: Choice of Meat (Ham, Turkey, or Pastrami), Provolone, Pickles, Lettuce, and Tomato on Wheat Berry
- The Barnyard: House-made Chicken Salad, Cheddar, Lettuce, and Tomato in an Herb Wrap
- The Tuscan Chicken: Grilled Herbed Chicken, Provolone, Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Pesto Mayo on a Hoagie
- The Club: Ham, Turkey, Bacon, Swiss, Cheddar, Lettuce, Tomato, Honey Mustard, and Mayo on Wheat Berry
Greetings! Registration for TexMoot will be closing on Thursday, December 28th at midnight CST. We have to have final numbers in to the host facility the next day. If you have been thinking about signing up then now is a great time to do it! If you want to wait until you have some extra gift money, please put the 28th on your calendars. We hope to see you there!
We are happy to announce that The Inklings and King Arthur is scheduled for publication on January 1st, 2018, and TexMoot has the honor of hosting the book release party!
This celebration will take place between noon and 1:30, during lunch. Dr. Corey Olsen will introduce this new collection of scholarship. The editor, Sørina Higgins, and the cover artist, Emily Austin, will discuss their work. Copies will be available for purchase. Please register for TexMoot and join us to celebrate the release of this long-expected book!
Here is information about the book:
in 2013, a previously-unpublished work by J.R.R. Tolkien appeared: The Fall of Arthur, his only explicitly Arthurian writing. The publication of this extraordinary poem revealed subtle connections between “The Matter of Britain” and the rest of JRRT’s legendarium, and thus invited an examination of the theological, literary, historical, and linguistic implications of the Arthurian writings of all the major Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield. It became immediately obvious that a scholarly study of these works was necessary.
The Inklings and King Arthur, edited by Sørina Higgins, fills that gap. It is an edited essay collection that examines the Arthurian works of Tolkien, Lewis, Williams, Barfield, their predecessors, and their contemporaries. It offers exciting, rigorous analytical perspectives on a wide range of the Inklings’ Arthurian and related works, contributing essential material to the academic field.
The cover design, by Signum University student Emily Austin, was chosen by popular poll through 99Designs. Emily writes about her design:
Not only is a pipe a rather apt symbol for the Inklings, but smoke itself is such a dynamic and fascinating substance that I felt it would prove an excellent visual counterpart to the ever-adapting Arthurian stories. The image as a whole had the potential to evoke thoughts of legend, history, imagination, and storytelling. Stylistically, this cover reflects some elements of Tolkien’s artwork. There is also, perhaps, a nod to Aubrey Beardley’s illustrations for Le Morte d’Arthur.
This collection of 20 essays thus is the result of a collaboration among scholars (from Baylor University, Signum University, many other institutions, and independent scholars), with lovely original cover art. We hope you can attend the party, hear about the book, and go hope with a few copies for yourself, your school, and your friends and family.
The fourth guest on our scholarly panel will also be our keynote speaker; stay tuned for information about his keynote address soon! Dr. Corey Olsen will bring a literary perspective to our panel about literature and language in healing and refreshment of the spirit.
Dr. Corey Olsen is the President of Signum University. In addition to teaching classes on J.R.R. Tolkien, Chaucer, and modern fantasy literature for Signum, Dr. Olsen has extended the concept of the digital classroom to include non-traditional outlets. Through the Mythgard Academy, he offers free weekly lectures on works of speculative fiction, and he has embraced the “new literature” of cinema and video game adaptations through interactive programs such as The Silmarillion Film Project and in-game discussions of Lord of the Rings Online.
Dr. Olsen obtained his B.A in English and Astrophysics from Williams College in 1996, going on to Columbia University where he obtained his M.A. in 1997, M.Phil in 2000, and his Ph.D in medieval literature in 2003. Upon graduation from Columbia University, Dr. Olsen obtained teaching positions at Temple University, Columbia University, Nyack College, and Washington College. In 2011, Dr. Olsen started Signum University and the Mythgard Institute. His book Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, was published by Houghton Mifflin in September 2012.
Greetings. Here is an update on accomodations. There is lodging available at the at the venue. Please click here for information and to reserve a room.
If you’re the adventurous, tech-savvy type, there is a robust selection of airbnb rentals available in the Fort Worth area.
If you’re interested in booking elsewhere, here is the address of the event.
2001 W Seminary Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76115
There are several hotels ranging from Motel 6 to Marriott within a three mile radius. We look forward to seeing you there!