Sadly I can’t make this one, because I will be in Finland. It looks like it will be a great event. Also it is free, though you do need to sign up. The official press release follows.
(Oxford, April 9, 2014) Pembroke College have invited award-winning author Adam Roberts to deliver the 2nd Annual Pembroke Lecture on Fantasy Literature in Honour of JRR Tolkien. This lecture in the series designed to explore the history and current state of fantasy literature will take place on May 2nd at 7 pm, it was jointly announced today by Robert O’Shea, President of the Pembroke College Middle Common Room (MCR), and Kendall Murphy, Annual Fund Officer for Pembroke College. Professor Roberts will also participate in a free signing and wine reception following the lecture.
The series is intended to memorialize Tolkien, who was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke for twenty years; he wrote The Hobbit and much of The Lord of the Rings during his time at the college. The lectures are sponsored through a grant from the Pembroke Annual Fund.
‘The Tolkien Lecture was a great success in its first year, with attendees drawn from the university and the community’, said O’Shea. ‘We are pleased to have Professor Roberts as a lecturer this year, given his reputation not only as a science fiction author but as a critic who knows Tolkien well. We feel that Professor Roberts will continue the high standard established in the series’ first year’.
‘The Pembroke Annual Fund connects our alumni to current students and allows them to work together to make an immediate impact on college life’, said Murphy. ‘The Pembroke Tolkien Lecture is precisely the sort of project the Annual Fund was designed to support, thanks to its resonance within and beyond the Pembroke community’.
Adam Roberts is Professor of Nineteenth-century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has published fourteen science fiction novels, the most recent of which are Jack Glass (Gollancz 2012), which won the BSFA and Campbell awards for best SF novel of the year; and Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea (Gollancz 2014; with Mahendra Singh). With his academic hat on, he has published articles and books on a range of topics including Tolkien. The Riddles of the Hobbit (Palgrave 2013) is the most recent.
Both the lecture and the signing reception are free and open to the public, but online registration is required to ensure a place for the lecture. Please go to pembrokemcr.com/Tolkien for more information.