Monday, April 26, 2004

Tolkien Studies I has Shipped!!

The first issue of Tolkien Studies has shipped from the publisher and should begin arriving in subscriber's mailboxes any day now. I haven't seen the actual issue yet (just proof copies), but it's pretty exciting. There's an order link and some material here at the new web address:, and below I've pasted in a Table of Contents, but I thought one or two readers might be interested in the saga of how to get a new journal started.

Several years ago, I think maybe as long ago as late 2001, Doug Anderson (editor of The Annotated Hobbit) got in touch with me to talk about Beowulf and the Critics. We ended up becoming friends, and in a phone conversation, he said, in response to my and Hilary Wynne's Tolkien Bibliography, that what the field really needed was a serious, scholarly journal, "something like Tolkien Studies."

"Let's found it, then," I said.

Doug introduced me to Verlyn Flieger, and the three of us decided to see if we really could start a serious, scholarly journal dedicated to Tolkien alone. We immediately ran into the chicken/egg problem: scholars didn't want to contribute unless we had a guarantee of publication. We couldn't get a press to pick up the journal without a complete issue (and then we ran into problems getting a press). But Tom Shippey and a few others believed in us, agreed to send work, and the rest was just an unbelievable amount of hard work -- editing, sending things out for review, working with authors, soliciting for more articles, etc. As of August 2003 we still didn't have a press and so were going to self-publish, and then my friend Pat Conner and I got to talking at the wine hour at the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists. He mentioned that WVU press, of which he was now the director, was doing pretty well with its journals. "Well," I said, "I have just spent the summer doing the layout for a new journal. Do you want to publish it? It's called Tolkien Studies."

It was just an unbelievable coincidence that Pat wanted to pick up a new journal and we had a complete issue all laid out and ready. So now you can take a look and see what you think.

Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review

Contents of Volume 1:

Tom Shippey, "Light-elves, Dark-elves, and Others: Tolkien's Elvish Problem"
Gergely Nagy, "The Adapted Text: The Lost Poetry of Beleriand"
Verlyn Flieger, "'Do the Atlantis Story and Abandon Eriol-Saga'"
Anne Petty, "Identifying England's Lönnrot"
Carl F. Hostetter, ed., "Sir Orfeo: A Middle English Version by J. R. R. Tolkien"
Mark Hooker, "Frodo's Batman"
Michael D. C. Drout, "Tolkien's Prose Style and Its Literary and Rhetorical Effects"
Olga Markova, "When Philology Becomes Ideology: The Russian Perspective of J. R. R. Tolkien"
Thomas Honegger, "A Note on Beren and LĂșthien's Disguise as Werewolf and Vampire-bat"
Dale J. Nelson, "Possible Echoes of Blackwood and Dunsany in Tolkien's Fantasy"
Douglas A. Anderson, "Tom Shippey on J.R.R. Tolkien: A Bibliography"

Also included is a Tolkien Bibliography for 2001 and 2002.

ISBN 0-937058-85-8

No comments: