Written from the point of view of in-universe narrators and loremasters, the works of J.R.R. Tolkien consciously imitate historicity, including the presence of historical bias. While historical bias in Tolkien's works has received very little scholarly attention, it is a driving force in the activity of another group of Tolkien experts: writers of Tolkien-based transformative works or fan fiction. This paper presents data showing a correlation between a character's receipt of bias and the amount of attention given him or her by fan fiction writers, concluding that characters who are perceived to have been treated unfairly in the texts often make appealing subjects for transformative works. This paper was presented at the New York Tolkien Conference held at Baruch College on 13 June 2015.
The complete paper can be read and downloaded on Academia.edu.
There is also a video of me reading the paper at the conference. I just realized that I posted it on my blog The Heretic Loremaster (which can be followed here on LJ under the heretic_lore feed) but never posted it here. Here it is, for anyone who would rather me read to them:
I will note that the print version of the paper does include some sections that I had to eliminate from the presentation in order to keep within my 30-minute limit (which you can see by the video I still did not manage to do). The print version also includes the charts and graphs that you cannot see in the video because our only choice was to set up the camera on a piano at the side of the room and capture the audio.
I am always interested in hearing thoughts on my research and papers, so comments are welcome, although as I barrel towards my hiatus for my Master's thesis, I am sometimes slow in replying. This particular presentation I am currently working into a longer paper with improved statistics and better evidence for my points.