Sara Brown

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Sara Brown PhD MSc(Econ) serves Signum University as Language & Literature Department Chair and Thesis Coordinator for the MA Program.  She is a Lecturer and Preceptor within the Language and Literature faculty and has served as an Elected Faculty Member on the Board. Sara also teaches on the Signum SPACE Program.

Sara Brown lives in North Wales, UK. She has been with Signum since 2012, 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, and in 2023 Sara collaborated with Dr Christopher Vaccaro to present a course on Race, Gender, and the Other in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Besides her BA (Hons) in English and History, Sara has an MSc in International History, Politics & Economics 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. She currently serves on the editorial board of Mallorn, the academic journal of the Tolkien Society. Sara is also co-presenter on the Tolkien Society Award-winning podcast, The Tolkien Experience, the Prancing Pony Podcast spinoff, The Rings of Power Wrap-Up, the Rings and Rituals Podcast, and has appeared as a guest presenter on the Prancing Pony Podcast

Sara’s research interests are primarily in Tolkien Studies. She was the 2023 Tolkien Society Award winner for Best Article for her article “All that glisters is not gold” (Mallorn 63, Winter ’22), and the 2024 winner for her article “‘The Tale of Aldarion and Erendis’: Not Just a Medieval Love Story” (Journal of Tolkien Research vol. 18 no. 1). She is currently working on a number of other projects for publication, including ‘Mother or Other: Tolkien’s ‘Monstrous-Feminine’ Shelob’ in We Could Do With a Bit More Queerness in These Parts: Queer Readings of JRR Tolkien’s Work ed. Robin Reid, Stephen Yandell, and Christopher Vaccaro (forthcoming), and ‘Remembering and Forgetting: National Identity Construction in Tolkien’s Middle-earth’ in Tolkien and the Medieval Poets ed. Jane Beal (forthcoming).

Sara Brown's windswept brown hair reminds us that she lives in the wilds of Wales. She's got very serious horn-rimmed glasses and a lovely scarf, the very picture of a serious professor except that she's fighting back a grin and a dozen sharp puns.