I am a cultural anthropologist interested in researching fantasy fiction by treating these fictions as historical documents. My thesis research is a structural analysis of the Lord of the Rings series, specifically focusing on magic, dual sovereignty (authority and power struggles), and the construction and use of language. My goal is to compare these structures that are found in Lord of the Rings and understand how those structures that make up the fictional fantasy are reflections of how our culture is structured. In the past two years, two colleagues and I worked on a structural analysis of the Harry Potter series, which was presented at two conferences and was eventually published in the 2011 Semiotic Society of America conference proceedings.
I did my undergraduate work at the University of Mary Washington in Anthropology and Historic Preservation. My undergraduate work focused on myth and the ethnohistories of various Native American cultures and the interpretations of Native American material culture within museums, specially the National Museum of the American Indian.
Degree and focus: Anthropology, Cultural.