Fan Phenomena: The Lord of the Ringsis the latest offering from Intellect books in their Fan Phenomena series. This collection is gathered by Lorna Piatti-Farnell, Director of the Popular Culture Research Centre at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. She knows her Lord of the Rings and the Fandom surrounding it quite well. The book gathers essays that study what it means to be a fan of Lord of the Rings and how it has changed Pop Culture as a whole.
One of my favorite essays is the book is entitled “Looking for Lothiriel: The Presence of Women in Tolkien Fandoms” by Cait Coker and Karen Viars. This piece dissects what it means to be a woman in the Lord of the Rings books, even if it’s just a footnote character who becomes a much bigger deal in the films. This essay highlights the meaningful embrace of female fans to certain characters.
Many of the essays also explore the importance of Fandom on the financial side of things. This includes on called “On Party Business” by Lorna Piatti-Farnell herself. This essay discusses how the concept of Fandom and tourism have spread into the creation of a real Hobbiton Village, complete with Green Dragon Inn. It also means that people are willing to spend a great deal of money on wedding sand birthday parties celebrated in Lord of the Rings fashion.
Fan Phenomena: The Lord of the Rings is very well put together and provides sources for further reading following all of the essays in the book. It is a great read for a fan of Tolkien.
Fan Phenomena: The Lord of the Rings is available November 15, 2015 from Intellect Books. Look for it on Amazon