In Verlyn Flieger's GOH speech at MythCon, "The Arch and the Keystone" (2019), she argues that the contradictions in Tolkien's own writing (fiction, non-fiction, and letters) is a primary cause of the "increasing fragmentation and polarization [among readers and scholars]," concluding that "[e]verybody has their own private Tolkien, more Tolkiens than you can shake a stick at" (9). In this presentation, I trace some attributes of the alt-right's "private Tolkien" which they have made public in forty plus online articles, some receiving a hundred or more public comments, during 2021-22. The articles (in periodicals and personal blogs) attacked, variously:
The Tolkien Society
The 2021 Seminar, "Tolkien and Diversity"
The seminar presenters
The Superbowl Amazon Prime trailer
The marketing photos of characters of color
I use a linguistic method that involves collecting and creating a corpus (an electronic database of articles and comments) and identifying key words and collocations (words and phrases associated with key words. My goal is to analyze how these writers construct their crusading version of "Tolkien," using it to attempt to repress the existence and interpretations of others, while situating my analysis in the context of contemporary religious-political conflicts.
Reid, Robin A. Dr.
"J.R.R. Tolkien, Culture Warrior: The Alt-Right's Crusade against the Tolkien Society's 2021 Summer Seminar on "Tolkien and Diversity","
Journal of Tolkien Research: Vol. 16:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/vol16/iss2/4