For fans of Tolkien, this is a special time. The year 2012 marked the 75th anniversary of the publishing of The Hobbit and many devotees eagerly awaited the December premiere of the first of three Peter Jackson films all based on the renowned novel. To celebrate these occasions, along with all other works of J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), Valparaiso University  will host “On Tolkien and His Works,” a scholarly conference to be held from March 1 to March 3. The weekend-long event will be highlighted by a 25th anniversary performance of Symphony #1 “The Lord of the Rings” by Johan de Meij, with the composer in attendance and conducting:

“With so many significant Tolkien milestones, this is the most opportune time to bring together some of the most esteemed Tolkien scholars from across the world,” said Brad Eden, Dean of Library Services, host of the conference and editor of “Middle-earth Minstrel: Essays on music in Tolkien” (McFarland, 2010). “With presentations, exhibits, musical performances, and a themed dinner of Hobbit-based recipes and entrees, this will surely be a once-in-a-lifetime Tolkien experience.”

The conference also includes an exhibit in the Brauer Museum of Art on campus, featuring rare and unusual Tolkien memorabilia from Eden’s extensive collection, including several signed letters and books. Panel discussion topics include: “Bromancing Tolkien,” “The Hobbit,” and “Topics in Tolkien’s Works.” Many other special events, including a song cycle performance and themed Saturday evening dinner, are planned for the weekend.

The conference will feature three plenary addresses:

For the full itinerary and to register, visit the conference website. Non-conference attendees can purchase dinner tickets for $35 each; contact brad.eden@valpo.edubefore Feb. 26 for details.

For more information or to request media availability for those involved with the conference, contact Nicole Niemi at

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