Dr Dimitra Fimi

Dimitra Fimi

​Senior Lecturer in English

​School: Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

​E- mail:dfimi@cardiffmet.ac.uk

​Telephone: 029 2020 5885

​Room No: B117


Research Groups:         
• Pedagogy and Andragogy Research Group (PARG)
• Arts and Humanities Research Group (AHRG)       

• Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
• Fellow of Cardiff Metropolitan University - student-led Fellowship for Most Inspiring Lecturer (2011)
• The Folklore Society
• The Viking Society for Northern Research
• Ireland-Wales Research Network
• Member, Edwardian Culture Network
• Member, British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS)
• Welsh Crucible 2017 Alumna     

Research Interests:
• Fantasy literature (history and development from Victorian to contemporary)
• Science Fiction in literature and film
• Children’s literature and children’s fantasy
• Classical, Celtic and Norse myth and folklore in literary texts, film and popular culture
• Adaptation of literary works for the screen
• Literature and visual culture


Fimi, D. (2017) Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Tolkien, J.R.R. (2016) A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages, edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins. London: HarperCollins.

Fimi, D. (2008) Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. [paperback edition, 2010]

Book Chapters (selected)
Fimi, D. (2017) ‘Tolkien’s Arda’, in Wolf, M. (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds. New York: Routledge (forthcoming).

Fimi, D. and Higgins, A. (2017) ‘Invented Languages’, in Wolf, M. (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds. New York: Routledge (forthcoming).

Fimi, D. (2016) ‘The Past as an Imaginary World: The Case of Medievalism’, in Wolf, M. (ed.) Revisiting Imaginary Worlds: A Subcreation Studies Anthology. New York: Routledge, pp. 46-66.

Fimi, D. (2015) ‘Teaching Race and Cultures in Tolkien's Works’, in Donovan, L.A. (ed.), Approaches to Teaching J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and Other Works. New York: MLA (forthcoming).

Fimi, D. (2014) ‘Later Fantasy Fiction’, in Lee, S. (ed.) A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 335-49.

Fimi, D. (2013) ‘‘Wildman of the Woods’: Inscribing tragedy on the landscape of Middle-earth in The children of Húrin’, in Conrad-O’Brien, H. and Hynes, G. (eds), Tolkien: The Forest and the City. Dublin: Four Courts Press, pp. 43-56.

Fimi, D. (2012) ‘Tolkien and the Fantasy Tradition’, in Whitehead, C. (ed.) Critical Insights: The Fantastic. CA: Salem Press, pp. 40-60.

Fimi, D. (2011) ‘Filming Folklore: Adapting Fantasy for the Big Screen through Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings’, in Bogstad, J.M. and Kaveny, P. E. (eds), Picturing Tolkien: Essays on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, pp. 84-101.

Fimi, D. (2008) ‘Unfinished Tales’, ‘The Little White Bird’, ‘Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens’, ‘Peter and Wendy’, and ‘Ursula Le Guin: Biographical Profile’, in Clark, Robert (ed.) The Literary Encyclopedia. Available at: http://www.litencyc.com/

Fimi, D. (2007) ‘Tolkien and Old Norse Antiquity: Real and Romantic Links in Material Culture’, in Clark, D. and Phelpstead, C. (eds), Old Norse Made New: Essays on the Post-Medieval Reception of Old Norse Literature and Culture. London: Viking Society for Northern Research, pp. 83-99.

Fimi, D. (2006) ‘Victorian Fairyology’ and ‘Greece: Reception of Tolkien’, in Drout, M. (ed.), The J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. New York: Routledge, pp. 186-7.

Journals & Essays
Fimi, D. (2018) 'Language as Communication vs. Language as Art: J.R.R. Tolkien and Early 20th-Century Radical Linguistic Experimentation', Journal of Tolkien Research, 5(1), pp. 1-28. Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/vol5/iss1/2/

Fimi, D. (2012) ‘Between Greece and Europe: The Fairy Tales of Penelope Delta’, Fastitocalon: Studies in Fantasticism Ancient to Modern, 2 (1), pp. 97-112.

Fimi, D. (2007) ‘Tolkien’s “‘Celtic’ type of legends”: Merging Traditions’, Tolkien Studies, 4, pp. 51-71.

Fimi, D. (2006) ‘“Mad Elves” and “Elusive Beauty”: Some Celtic Strands of Tolkien’s Mythology’, Folklore, 117 (2), pp. 156-170.

Fimi, D. (2006) ‘“Come Sing ye Light Fairy Things Tripping so Gay”: Victorian Fairies and the Early Work of J.R.R. Tolkien’, Working with English: Medieval and Modern Language, Literature and Drama, 2, pp. 10-26.

Conference Papers (selected):
Fimi, D. 'Irishness, Folklore and Modernity in Kate Thompson's The New Policeman'. Fantasies of Contemporary Culture, Cardiff University, 23 May 2016.

Fimi, D. 'Tolkien and Radical Linguistic Experimentation'. 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 12–15 May 2016.

Fimi, D. '"Celtic" Myth and Celticity in Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain'. International Medieval Congress 2015, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2015.

Fimi, D. 'Kipling, Tolkien and their "mythologies for England"'. Enchanted Edwardians, Third Annual Conference of the Edwardian Culture Network, in association with the University of Bristol, 30-31 March 2015.

Fimi, D. ‘Where Is Avalon? Tolkien’s Otherworld in the West and The Fall of Arthur’. 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 8-11 May 2014.

Fimi, D. ‘Revisiting Race in Tolkien's Legendarium: Constructing Cultures and Ideologies in an Imaginary World’ (Keynote Lecture). The Politics of Contemporary Fantasy, University of Würzburg, 5-7 October 2012.

Fimi, D. ‘“Wildman of the Woods”: Inscribing Tragedy on the Landscape of Middle-earth in The Children of Hurin’. Tolkien: The Forest and the City, School of English, Trinity College Dublin, 21-22 September 2012.

Fimi, D. ‘“You must’ve heard of Babbitty Rabbitty!”: Fairy Tales and Folklore in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series’. Folklore and Fantasy Conference co-organised by the Folklore Society and the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy, University of Chichester, 13-15 April 2012.

Cox, K., Fimi, D. and North, K. (2011) ‘Literary Tourism: Exploring Cardiff’. IV International Critical Tourism Studies Conference: Tourism Futures: Enhancing Creative & Critical Action, Welsh Centre for Tourism Research, Cardiff, 2-5 July 2011.

Fimi, D. (2011) ‘Kipling, Tolkien and Romantic Anglo-Saxonism’. 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 12-15 May 2011.

Fimi, D. (2009) ‘Tolkien and the Fairies: Faith and Folklore’. 44th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 7-10 May 2009.

Fimi, D. (2007) ‘Mappa Terrae-mediae: Exploring Middle-earth Cartography and Cosmography’. International Medieval Congress 2007, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, 9-12 July 2007.

Fimi, D. (2007) ‘Tolkien and the Metaphysics of Language’. 42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 10-13 May 2007.

Fimi, D. (2006) ‘Film Folklore and Folklore in Film in Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings’. Folklore Society Annual Conference: ‘Folklore, Film and Television: Convergences in Traditional Cultures and Popular Media’, Warburg Institute, London, 31 March - 1 April 2006.

Fimi, D. (2005) ‘“Tears are the Very Wine of Blessedness”: Eucatastrophe, the Sense of Loss and Despair, and Sweet Sorrow in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings’. Sixth International Conference of the Hellenic Association for the Study of English: ‘(Re)Constructing Pain and Joy in Language, Literature, and Culture’, Athens University, 20-23 October 2005.

Fimi, D. (2005) ‘“Needless to Say They Are Not Celtic”: J. R. R. Tolkien's Love-Hate Relationship with “Things Celtic” and How They Sneaked into His Middle-Earth Literature’. Shorter presentation at 40th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 5-8 May 2005. Extended presentation at Celtic Folk Studies Conference: ‘Folklore and Identity in Celtic Cultures’, Cardiff University, 20-23 July 2005.

Reviews (selected):
Fimi, D. (2016) Review of The Story of Kullervo, by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Verlyn Flieger. Journal of Tolkien Research, 3:1. Available at: http://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/vol3/iss1/4/

Fimi, D. (2015) Review of Magical Tales: Myth, Legend and Enchantment in Children's Books, edited by by Carolyne Larrington and Diane Purkiss. Folklore, 126 (2), pp. 241-242.

Fimi, D. (2014) Review of The Fall of Arthur, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Gramarye: The Journal of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy, Winter 2014, Issue 6, pp. 80-2.

Fimi, D. (2012) Review of Beatrix Potter: Fables to Faeries, edited by Rowena Godfrey. Folklore, 123 (1), pp. 113.

Fimi, D. (2012) Review of The Myth of Persephone in Girls' Fantasy Literature, by Virginia Holly. Times Higher Education, 5 January. Available at: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/418583.article

Fimi, D. (2010) Review of Laughing with Medusa: Classical Myth and Feminist Thought, edited by Vanda Zajko and Miriam Leonard. Folklore, 121 (2), pp. 236-238.

Fimi, D. (2009) Review of Concepts of Arthur, by Thomas Green. Speculum: A Journal Medieval Studies, 84 (3), pp. 722-723.

Fimi, D. (2008) Review of Elves in Anglo-Saxon England: Matters of Belief, Health, Gender and Identity, by Alaric Hall. Folklore, 119 (3), pp. 349-51.

Fimi, D. (2008) Review of Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien, by Matthew Dickerson and Jonathan Evans. Folklore, 119 (3), pp. 351-2.

Fimi, D. (2008) Review of Inside Language: Linguistic and Aesthetic Theory in Tolkien, by Ross Smith. Tolkien Studies, 5, pp. 229-33.

Fimi, D. (2007) Review of The Genre of Trolls: The Case of a Finland-Swedish Folk Belief Tradition, by Camilla Asplund Ingemark. Folklore, 118 (3), pp. 365-6.

Fimi, D. (2007) Review of Icelandic Folktales and Legends, by Jacqueline Simpson. Folklore, 118 (3), pp. 366-7.

Fimi, D. (2006) Review of Perilous Realms: Celtic and Norse in Tolkien's Middle-earth, by Marjorie Burns, Tolkien Studies, 3, pp. 187-190.


I joined Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2009 as a Lecturer in English, after having previously lectured for Cardiff University, and the Open University.

I am a specialist on Tolkien and fantasy literature. My first monograph Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) won the Mythopoeic Scholarship award in Inklings Studies and was also shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award. I recently co-edited the first critical edition on Tolkien’s essay “A Secret Vice”, in which he theorizes language invention as part of coherent worldbuilding (A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages, HarperCollins, 2016). My latest monograph, Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy has just been published as part of Palgrave Macmillan’s Critical Approaches to Children's Literature series. Based on adaptation theory, reception studies, as well as archival research and interviews with authors, the book focuses on the construction of “Celtic” identities in contemporary fantasy novels for younger readers, both in the British Isles and in their Diasporas.

I teach a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules on fantasy, science fiction, children's literature and medievalism and I welcome PhD applications in all of these areas.

For more information see: http://www.dimitrafimi.com/


“Year of the Sea: assessing changes in marine ecosystems through literature, arts and law”, Welsh Crucible 2017, Co-investigator.

“The world’s smallest book: showcasing the wonder of miniaturisation to engage with the public imagination”, Welsh Crucible 2017, Co-investigator.

“The Myth of the Inventor: Philip Vaughan”, Welsh Crucible 2017, Co-investigator.

Further Information

Current Teaching:
• Monsters, Cyborgs and Imaginary Worlds (Level 5)
• Children’s Literature (Level 5)
• Narratives, Identities and Place (Level 6)
• Re-presenting ‘the Past’ (Level 7)

Postgraduate research:
Director of Studies for PhD projects on the genesis of Tolkien’s mythology (completed); on Tolkien and Leadership; and on folklore in Tolkien’s poetry.

Invited Lectures (selected):

Fimi, D. (2015) ‘Dreaming the Middle Ages: The Past as an Imaginary World in the Works of Thomas Chatterton, J. R. R. Tolkien and Umberto Eco’, University of Oulu, Finland, 12 November.

Fimi, D. (2015) ‘Teaching Tolkien in HE’, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities and the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, 29 October.

Fimi, D. (2015) ‘Welsh heritage for teenagers: Re-writing the Mabinogion in Alan Garner’s The Owl Service and Jenny Nimmo’s The Snow Spider’, Centre for Lifelong Learning, Cardiff University, 17 June.

Fimi, D. (2013) Tolkien’s Middle-earth: Fantasy and Reality. [Public Lecture, Literature Wales Time, Space, Machine and Monster Festival, Riverfront Arts Centre, Newport]. 19 October.      

Fimi, D. (2012) Chatterton's Forgery, Feigned Manuscripts and Literary Legacy: The Case of J.R.R. Tolkien. [Public Lecture, UWE Regional History Centre, in association with the Thomas Chatterton Society, M-Shed, Bristol]. 15 March.

Fimi, D. (2011) Children’s Literature and Fantasy: From The Water Babies to Harry Potter. [Public Lecture, Literature Wales Literature Lounge Events, St. David's 2/Dewi Sant, Cardiff]. 13 October.

Fimi, D. (2011) Tolkien’s Wales in the Black Mountains: A Literary Walk. [Public Lecture, Literature Wales Literary Tourism Programme, in association with the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority]. 30 June.

Fimi, D. (2011) The Welsh Language and Tolkien’s ‘Linguistic Aesthetic’. [Guest Speaker, Tolkien and Wales: A Celebration, Cardiff University]. 21 May 2011.

Fimi, D. (2009) Tales Before Tolkien: Researching the Roots of Modern Fantasy. [Public Lecture, Humanities Forum, Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning]. 11 June.

Fimi, D. (2006) Tolkien and Old Norse Antiquity. [Guest Speaker, Viking Society For Northern Research Student Conference, Oxford]. 26 February.

TV and Web Videos
(2014) BBC iWonder guide: "How was The Lord of the Rings influenced by World War One?", available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zgr9kqt

(2014) BBC iWonder guide: "Why do the Elves in The Hobbit sound Welsh?", available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z2hthyc

(2009) History Channel: Clash of the Gods: Episode 8: Beowulf (28 September); Episode 9: Tolkien's Monsters (5 October); Episode 10: Thor (12 October)

Radio (Selected)
(2016) BBC Radio 4: Archive on 4, Tolkien: The Lost Recordings. 6 August. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07mvd5z

(2015) BBC Radio Wales Arts Show: Celebrating Alice. 2 December.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06qdh6k 

(2011) BBC Radio Wales: Jamie and Louise Show. Christmas in folklore and literature. 20 December.

(2009) BBC Radio Wales: Good Evening Wales. Tolkien's Welsh connections and