Saturday, January 7, 2017

Coming Soon: Fan Phenomena: Game of Thrones

Due out later this year. No contents available yet.

Fan Phenomena: Game of Thrones
Edited by Kavita Mudan Finn,id=5247/

Price £28.50, $41
267 pages; 27 color plates; 7 x 9

Winter is coming. Every Sunday night, millions of fans gather around their televisions to take in the spectacle that is a new episode of Game of Thrones. Much is made of who will be gruesomely murdered each week on the hit show, though sometimes the question really is who won’t die a fiery death. The show, based on the Song of Ice and Fire series written by George R. R. Martin, is a truly global phenomenon.

With the seventh season of the HBO series in production, Game of Thrones has been nominated for multiple awards, its cast has been catapulted to celebrity, and references to it proliferate throughout popular culture. Often positioned as the grittier antithesis to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Martin’s narrative focuses on the darker side of chivalry and heroism, stripping away these higher ideals to reveal the greed, amorality, and lust for power underpinning them.

Fan Phenomena: Game of Thrones is an exciting new addition to the Intellect series, bringing together academics and fans of Martin’s universe to consider not just the content of the books and HBO series, but fan responses to both. From trivia nights dedicated to minutiae to forums speculating on plot twists to academics trying to make sense of the bizarre climate of Westeros, everyone is talking about Game of Thrones. Edited by Kavita Mudan Finn, the book focuses on the communities created by the books and television series and how these communities envision themselves as consumers, critics, and even creators of fanworks in a wide variety of media, including fiction, art, fancasting, and cosplay.

New Book: Fan Phenomena: The Lord of the Rings

Fan Phenomena: The Lord of the Rings
Edited by Lorna Piatti-Farnell,id=5159/

ISBN: 9781783205158 1783205156
156 pages; illustrated in color throughout; 6 1/2 x 9 1/2; © 2015

Now Available
Price £28.50, $41

Few if any books come close to being as beloved—or as ubiquitous—as J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Best-sellers for decades, they became even more popular on the heels of Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning film adaptations. And throughout, fans have not only read the books, they’ve engaged with them, building one of the most active and creative fan communities in the world.

This entry in the Fan Phenomena series offers the best look we’ve had yet at the fan culture surrounding The Lord of the Rings. Academically informed, but written for the general reader, the book delves into such topics as the philosophy of the series and its fans, the distinctions between the films’ fans and the books’ fans, the process of adaptation, the role of New Zealand in the translation of words to images (and the resulting Lord of the Rings tourism), and much, much more. Lavishly illustrated, it is guaranteed to appeal to anyone who has ever closed the last page of The Return of the King and wished the journey didn't have to end.
Part of the Fan Phenomena series
Lorna Piatti-Farnell

Making Fantasy Matter: The Lord of the Rings and the Legitimization of Fantasy Cinema
Alexander Sergeant

The Lord of the Rings:
One Digital Fandom to Initiate Them All
Maggie Parke

Reforging the Rings: Fan Edits and The Cinematic Middle-earth
Joshua Wille

Walking Between Two Lands, or How Double Canon Works in the Lord of the Rings Fan Films
Miguel Ángel  Pérez-Gómez

One Party Business: True-fan Celebrations in New Zealand’s Middle-earth
Lorna Piatti-Farnell

There, Here and Back Again: The Search for Middle-earth in Birmingham
Emily M. Gary

Looking for Lothiriel: The Presence of Women in Tolkien Fandom
Cait Coker and Karen Viars

Lord of the Franchise: The Lord of the Rings, IP Rights and Policing Appropriation
Paul Mountfort

Writing the Star: The Lord of the Rings and the Production of Star Narratives
Anna Martin

Understanding Fans’ ‘Precious’: The Impact of the Lord of the Rings Films on the Hobbit Movies
Abigail G. Scheg

Contributor Details

Image Credits

Francis on Eli Stone!

I was excited to see this piece in the latest issue of SMART. Francis always has interesting things to say about how modern texts use the medieval. Copies of the journal can be purchased from the publisher at

Francis, Christina. “The Usefulness of Eli Stone to Teaching Medieval Narrative.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, vol. 26, no. 2, Fall 2016, pp. 133-43. 

Details on the Eli Stone series can be found on Wikipedia at

Ambrisco on Beowulf and Grendel

A recent issue of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching featured the following essay on the film Beowulf and Grendel. Back issues of the journal can be ordered from the publisher at

Ambrisco, Alan S. “Battling Monstrosity in Beowulf and Grendel (2005): Using a Film Adaptation to Teach Beowulf.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, vol. 23, no. 1, Spring 2016, pp. 29-40.

Chaucer on Screen Contents

The following contents list for Kathleen Coyne Kelly and Tison Pugh's new book Chaucer on Screen: Absence, Presence, and Adapting the Canterbury Tales is based on that in WorldCat ( A PDF of the complete contents pages can be accessed from the publisher at

It looks to be a fairly complete volume. Too bad its priced at $94.95(though a PDF version is offered for $19.95, if you can live without a physical book). 

Foreword / Terry Jones

Introduction / Kathleen Coyne Kelly and Tison Pugh

Naked yet invisible: filming Chaucer's narrator / Elizabeth Scala --
"The play's the thing": the cinematic fortunes of Chaucer and Shakespeare / Susan Aronstein and Peter Parolin --
Chaucer, film, and the desert of the real; or, why Geoffrey Chaucer will never be Jane Austen / Larry Scanlon --
Profit, politics, and prurience; or, why Chaucer is bad box office / Kathleen Forni --

Chaucer and the moving image in pre-World War II America / Lynn Arner --
Lost Chaucer: Natalie Wood's "The deadly riddle" and the golden age of American television / Candace Barrington --

Chaucerian history and cinematic perversions in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's A Canterbury tale / Tison Pugh --
Idols of the marketplace: Chaucer/Pasolini / Kathryn L. Lynch --
"Sorry, Chaucer": mixed feelings and Hyapatia Lee's Ribald tales of Canterbury / George Shuffelton --
The naked truth: Chaucerian spectacle in Brian Helgeland's A knight's tale / Sian Echard --

Putting the second first: the BBC "Miller's tale" / Steve Ellis --
Midlife sex and the BBC "Wife of Bath" / Sarah Stanbury --
Serving time: the BBC "Knight's tale" in the prison-house of free adaptation / Louise D'Arcens --
The color of money: the BBC "Sea captain's tale" / Kathleen Coyne Kelly --
Sex, plague, and resonance: reflections on the BBC "Pardoner's tale" / Arthur Bahr --
Time, memory, and desire in the BBC "Man of law's tale" / Kathleen Davis --

Marketing Chaucer: Mad men and the Wife of Bath / Laurie Finke and Martin B. Shichtman.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Medieval Studies on TV Update

I was remiss in posting notice of the following session in a timely manner. My apologies to the presenters and area chairs.

27th Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association
Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey
3-5 November 2016

Friday, 4 November 2016
Session II (11:00 AM – 12:15 PM)
Medieval Studies on TV (Beowulf to Shakespeare: Popular Culture in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance I) (Bongo 1)
Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
Organized by Michael A. Torregrossa

Presider: Diana Vecchio (Widener University)

Paper 1: Game On: The Medievalism of Television Golf Tournaments
Martha Oberle (Independent Scholar)

Paper 2: No Such Thing as Bad Press: Christian Conversion Narrative in the Popular Culture Series Vikings
Jennifer Veronica Agnes MacLellan (Háskóli Íslands)

Paper 3: The Evolving Realism of the Trebuchet from Excalibur to Game of Thrones
Scott Manning (American Military University)