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Because Stephen Colbert is Faramir!

How much do I love this? By a lot!

Sidewaysedly, with ithiliana's feedback I submitted the following paper proposal to the Tolkien area at Kalamazoo for next year:

Constructing Lothίriel: Rewriting and Rescuing the Women of Middle Earth from the Margins

Scholars of fan studies believe that fanfiction can be seen as an interpretive and analytical act that gives insight into the reception of a text by its audience. This paper will examine the depiction of Tolkien’s female characters in The Lord of the Rings and related works through the lens of fanfiction: How do Tolkien’s most loving and devoted readers, his fans, view the women of Middle-Earth? In the case of significant characters like Éowyn and Arwen, quite a bit is known and thus fan-writers have various resources to work with as source references, including the texts as well as the earlier drafts of the novels as published in The History of The Lord of the Rings. In the case of other characters such as Lothíriel, their presence is little more than (quite literally) a footnote. As a genre of literature, fanfiction functions both as derivative work (in that some writers conscientiously choose to ascribe to Tolkien’s canonical texts and display a wealth of knowledge of these texts, linguistically and historically) and as transformative work as writers choose to select, ignore, or rewrite those aspects of Tolkien’s work they find problematic. In the body of scholarly work on Tolkien and fanfiction thus far, little attention has been paid attention to how writers have chosen to characterize the women characters, or what stories, genres, and tropes have been used in these stories. By reading the poems, short stories, and even novels that fans have written inspired by these characters, a new picture of the women of Middle Earth emerges: one in which women aren’t always fabulously beautiful or amazingly brave, but take their place alongside the male denizens of Tolkien’s universe all the same. This paper will contain several case studies of how various fan-writers have adopted and adapted Tolkien’s creations to tell their own stories of these characters.

I'm not sure when I'll find out whether it's accepted or not, but I have my fingers crossed!!


( 11 comments — Add your .02 )
Jul. 29th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, that paper sounds awesome!!! Best wishes on it! It's a terrific idea.

I have no idea if this would be of any use whatsoever, but I had a scholarly article entitled “Reimagining Rose: Portrayals of Tolkien’s Rosie Cotton in Twenty-First Century Fan Fiction” published in the Spring 2006 (Vol. 24, Numbers 93/94) issue of the journal Mythlore.
Jul. 29th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
Yes yes yes!!!! One of my friends actually recommended I read that recently!!!!! *G* How's that for impact factor, bb? :)
Jul. 29th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness! *flails a bit* That is unexpected and delightful. Thanks so much for telling me. :)

My essay in the book Tolkien on Film (“Make Mine ‘Movieverse’: How The Tolkien Fan Fiction Community Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Peter Jackson”) is more books-vs-films oriented, and I doubt it includes much of interest.

I'd dearly love to read your paper when it's completed. I hope you'll pursue publication of it when it's done! *cheers and applauds you*

Jul. 29th, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
I have a thought of doing a paper on Marion Zimmer Bradley's Arwen fanfic for PCA, then eliding the two papers into an article, probably for Mythlore. So, I am optimistic!! :)
Jul. 29th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
Ooh, that sounds brilliant! *bounces in excitement*
Jul. 29th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, what an awesome idea for an academic paper! I love your brain.
Jul. 29th, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
*squishes* I have a half-baked plan to write that paper and then do my PCA paper on Marion Zimmer Bradley's LOTR fanfic. Then I could elide the two into an article.

BTW you're in Boston right? Next year's PCA is there. :)
Aug. 4th, 2011 02:36 am (UTC)
I am working my way through the heap in my inbox. When you come to Boston, let me know and I will feed you dinner. :)
Aug. 4th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC)
*seal claps* I have a half-baked idea of when it's about time to travel to asking the f-listies in the area if they want to hook up! *G*G* *imagines mad nerdy fun!!*
Jul. 30th, 2011 10:09 am (UTC)
Agh God-Damn being in Britain!!! :(

And oooooooooooh that paper sounds really interesting!

Aug. 4th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
<3 I keep checking to see if it might have been loaded up onto youtube, but not so far. :(
( 11 comments — Add your .02 )

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