I am truly delighted to announce that my talk “Tolkien and Digital Philology” on applying a philological and corpus linguistics approach to the works of Tolkien was accepted for the Tolkien Society’s 50th anniversary conference Tolkien 2019.
Here is the abstract I submitted:
Readers of Tolkien often remark that there is a depth to his creative work that reminds them of the Old Testament, Homer, or other legendary epics. This is perhaps no surprise, at least in the sense of the broader legendarium, given the Professor’s goals and sources of inspiration. This is also born out in the level of philological detail given to the study of his works by others. Tolkien was not only a philologist but a creator of works worthy of study by philologists. In light of this, what is the potential role of digital methods of philology applied to Tolkien? This paper will take a look at the study of Tolkien through the lens of digital philology and corpus linguistics and will demonstrate preliminary work treating Tolkien’s text the way one might undertake computational study of the Greek text of Homer or Herodotus, or the Old English text of Beowulf.
I only asked for a 20-minute slot but that should be enough to achieve my goal of introducing digital philology and laying out the possibilities for Tolkien studies with a few examples.