Editorial Team

Editorial Staff

Luke Shelton, PhD (Editor-In-Chief)

Taryn K. Summer Walls, MS (Copy Editor)

Nick Polk (Production Editor)

Bill Allender (Proofreader)


Editorial Review Board

Sara Brown, PhD

Faculty chair for Language and Literature

Signum University

Sara Brown lives in North Wales, UK, and is Faculty chair for Language and Literature at Signum University. She has been with Signum since 2012 and is the longest serving preceptor in the Language and Literature Faculty, working on courses that have included ‘Modern Fantasy’ with Corey Olsen, ‘Tolkien’s World of Middle-earth’ with Verlyn Flieger, ‘Roots of the Mountain’ with Doug Anderson, ‘Cultural Studies and Audience Reception of The Lord of the Rings’ with Robin Reid and ‘Celtic Myth in Children’s Fantasy’ with Dimitra Fimi. In 2017, Sara presented her own 12-week lecture series entitled ‘Tolkien in Context: Middle-earth as a Roadmap to Twentieth-Century Anxieties’, which explored Tolkien’s writing as a response to modernity. Besides her BA (Hons) in English and History, Sara has a Masters degree in International History from the London School of Economics, for which she wrote a thesis on The Problem of the Gold Standard in International Politics and Economics in the Nineteenth Century. She completed her Ph.D. in Literature at Salford University in 2013. Entitled From Abjection to Alchemy in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth Legendarium, the thesis explores the way in which Tolkien was responding to the anxieties of the post-war world in the mid twentieth century, drawing on (amongst others) the theories of Julia Kristeva and Donna Haraway. She believes it’s a real page-turner. Sara has given a number of lectures at various conferences on the topics of Tolkien, fantasy fiction, and fandom, and is regularly seen at Tolkien Society events in the UK.


Janet Brennan Croft

Associate University Librarian for Content Discovery

University of Northern Iowa

Janet Brennan Croft is Liaison to English, Cinema Studies, Linguistics, and the School of Communication and Information and Librarian for Copyright Education and Disability Services at the University of Northern Iowa.  She earned her Master of Library Science degree at Indiana University in 1983.  She is the author of War in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien (Praeger, 2004; winner of the Mythopoeic Society Award for Inklings Studies) and several book chapters on the Peter Jackson films; she has published articles on J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Lois McMaster Bujold, and other authors, and is editor or co-editor of many collections of literary essays, the most recent being Baptism of Fire: The Birth of British Fantasy in World War I (Mythopoeic Press, 2016). She has also written widely on library issues, and is the author of Legal Solutions in Electronic Reserves and the Electronic Delivery of Interlibrary Loan (Haworth, 2004). She edits the refereed scholarly journal Mythlore and serves on the board of the Mythopoeic Press, and is Archivist for Slayage, the journal of the Whedon Studies Association.


The Reverend Tom Emanuel, MDiv

PhD Candidate

University of Glasgow

The Rev. Tom Emanuel was born and raised on sacred Lakota land in the Black Hills of South Dakota. He received his Honors Bachelor of Arts in political science and German from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD and his Master of Divinity from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and a current PhD student in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. Tom’s current research brings together fan studies, progressive Christian theology, and fantasy literature, especially the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. His thesis project “The Tale We’ve Fallen Into: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Fandom, and the Post-Christian Quest for Meaning,” which explores the reception of LotR among nonreligious fans in the changing spiritual landscape of the twenty-first century, is funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) doctoral partnership with the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities (SGSAH).


Dimitra Fimi, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Fantasy and Children’s Literature

University of Glasgow

Dr Dimitra Fimi is Senior Lecturer in Fantasy and Children’s Literature and Co-Director of the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow. Her first monograph, Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) won the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies. She co-edited the first critical “extended” edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s essay “A Secret Vice”, in which Tolkien theorizes his language invention (A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages, HarperCollins, 2016), which won the Tolkien Society Award for Best Book. Her latest monograph, Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy: Idealization, Identity, Ideology (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) won the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies. She has published widely in journals and edited collections and contributes regularly to radio and TV programmes. She sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Tolkien Research, the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and the Literary Encyclopedia. Many of her published articles and essays are accessible open access from her website.


Nelson Goering, PhD

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship

University of Oxford

Nelson Goering hails from the Ocooch ‘Mountains’ in Wisconsin, and holds a DPhil in Comparative Philology and General Linguistics from the University of Oxford. His research interests centre on the linguistics of the older Germanic and Indo-European languages, and he has a particular love for Old English, Old Saxon, Old Norse, Gothic, Old Persian, and Avestan. His DPhil research focused on the phonological aspects of Germanic alliterative metre , and his current research project, a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship at Oxford, is on Norse influence on Middle English prosody. Nelson is a lifelong reader of Tolkien, and he is especially interested in the intersection of Tolkien’s philological academic life with his creative works.


Andrew Higgins, PhD

Director of Development

Imperial War Museums in the UK

Dr. Andrew Higgins received a PhD in 2015 from Cardiff Metropolitan University. His PhD thesis ‘The Genesis of Tolkien’s Mythology’ explored the first major expression of Tolkien’s mythology The Book of Lost Tales materials, with a specific emphasis on the interrelated nature of myth and language in Tolkien’s earliest world-building. He co-edited with Dr. Dimitra Fimi a new edition of Tolkien’s talk on language invention ‘A Secret Vice’. This new variorum edition, A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Language Invention, was published by HarperCollins in April 2016. Andrew has also Tolkien and language related papers published in A Wilderness of Dragons: Essays in Honour of Verlyn Flieger (2018) and Sub-Creating Arda: World-Building in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Work from Walking Tree Press (2019). He will also have a paper “The Gothic World Building of Dark Shadows’ published in a new volume on world-building edited by Mark JP Wolf in 2020. Andrew has given Tolkien related papers at The International Medieval Congresses at Kalamazoo and Leeds, The Enchanted Edwardians Conference in Bristol and at the UK Tolkien Society. He has contributed articles and book reviews to Tolkien Studies, The Journal of Tolkien Research, Mallorn and Mythlore. He has taught a fourteen-week online course on language invention at Mythgard Institute/Signum University where he also serves as a board member. Andrew is the Director of Development at the Imperial War Museums in the UK and is also a trustee of the UK Tolkien Society and British Youth Opera.


Yvette Kisor, PhD

Professor of English and Literary Studies

Ramapo College

Yvette Kisor is Professor of English and Literary Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey where she teaches medieval literature as well as courses on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. Her essays on Tolkien have appeared in Tolkien Studies and Mythlore, as well as various edited collections. She is co-author with Christopher T. Vaccaro of the edited collection Tolkien and Alterity (Palgrave, 2017). Her essays on medieval literature, particularly Old English texts, include publications in Anglo-Saxon England, The Chaucer Review, and ANQ. She is co-author with Michael D. C. Drout of Beowulf Unlocked: New Evidence from Lexomic Analysis (Palgrave, 2016).


Kristine Larsen, PhD

Professor of Astronomy

Central Connecticut State University

Dr. Kristine Larsen is an astronomy professor at Central Connecticut State University. Her teaching and research focus on the intersections between science and society, including gender and the history of astronomy, depictions of scientists in popular media, and the use (and misuse) of astronomical allusions in popular media (in particular in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien). She is the author of Particle Panic! How Popular Media and Popularized Science Feed Public Fears of Particle Accelerator Experiments (2019), The Women Who Popularized Geology in the 19th Century (2017), Cosmology 101 (2007), and Stephen Hawking: A Biography (2005). She is the recipient of the 2020 Tolkien Society Best Paper Award.


Mariana Rios Maldonado, MA

PhD Candidate

University of Glasgow

Mariana Rios Maldonado completed her undergraduate studies in Literature and Spanish Linguistics at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico and her master’s degree in Comparative Literature at the Peter Szondi Institute in Berlin’s Freie Universität. Her research focuses on the influence of Germanic mythology and culture in contemporary literature, Germanophonic fantastic literature between the 18th and 20th centuries, as well as J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary production. Mariana is currently a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Glasgow’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures with the research project “Ethics, Femininity and the Encounter with the Other in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth Narratives”, funded by the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) as well as Mexico’s National Foundation for Fine Arts and Literature (Fundación INBA).


Rukmini Pande, PhD

Assistant Professor in Literary Studies

O.P Jinda Globall University

Dr. Rukmini Pande is an Assistant Professor in Literary Studies at O.P Jinda Globall University, India. She is currently part of the editorial board of the Journal of Fandom Studies and has been published in multiple edited collections including the Wiley Companion to Media Fandom and Fan Studies and The Routledge Handbook of Popular Culture Tourism. She has also been published in peer reviewed journals such as Transformative Works and Cultures and The Journal for Feminist Studies. Her monograph, Squee From The Margins: Race in Fandom, was published in 2018 by the University of Iowa Press. Her upcoming edited collection, Fandom, Now In Color: A Collection of Voices, brings together cutting-edge scholarship on race/ism in fandom. It is projected to be out by the end of 2020


Robin Anne Reid, PhD

Independent Scholar

Dr. Robin Anne Reid retired as professor in Literature and Languages at Texas A&M University-Commerce in May 2020. She will continue publishing as an independent scholar rather than applying for emerita status due to strong disagreements with current university administrative actions and policies. Her teaching areas were creative writing, critical theory, and marginalized literatures. She co-directed two N. E. H Institutes for School Teachers on Teaching Tolkien (2004, 2009) with Dr. Judy Ann Ford, History. They also team-taught classes on Tolkien and published collaborative scholarship. She publishes on femininisms, critical race, and queer approaches to science fiction and fantasy, Tolkien, and fanfiction, and looks forward to having more time for scholarship in retirement.


Anna Smol, PhD

Professor of English

Mount Saint Vincent University

Anna Smol is a Professor of English at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where she teaches courses on Tolkien, medievalism, and Old English literature. Her publications and reviews have appeared in Tolkien Studies, Mythlore, Modern Fiction Studies, and the Journal of Tolkien Research as well as in various edited collections, the most recent being A Wilderness of Dragons: Essays in Honor of Verlyn Flieger and “Something Has Gone Crack”: New Perspectives on Tolkien in the Great War. She has also written about medieval adaptations in children’s literature and about pedagogy in higher education, including articles about teaching Tolkien in Fandom as Classroom Practice: A Teaching Guide and in MLA Approaches to Teaching Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Other Works. She has presented papers at international medieval conferences in Leeds and Kalamazoo, at various Tolkien Society events, the Popular Culture Association, and the Tolkien Vermont Conference. Her current research focuses on Tolkien’s alliterative compositions and his typological mythopoesis. You can find her on her blog, A Single Leaf, or on twitter.