Disney’s Princess Ariel would give anything to be “where the people are,” but little does she know there’s an ever-growing fan base of humans dying to be down in the ocean where she is. Movies like the Little Mermaid and Pirates of the Caribbean have sparked the interest of newer generations of mermaid fans, but our enchantment with these mythical creatures of the sea goes back for centuries. Fan Phenomena: Mermaids takes a deep dive into these fascinations and the cultural creations that mermaids inspire among fans of all ages.
Mermaids, and merfolk more generally, are everywhere you look Merfolk devotees march in themed parades and practice mermaiding - swimming with a mermaid tail. There’s mermaid fiction and mermaid virtual reality; mermaid art and #mermaid trends. You may not know it, but transgenerational merfolk fan communities stretch around the world - from sea to shining sea. And their popularity is only growing.
In Fan Phenomena: Mermaids, Matthieu Guitton assembles a star studded cast of scholars and popular culture insiders to decode the mermaid phenomenon. The book explores how merfolk have evolved in popular culture and what it is that grants them their privileged status among fantasy creatures. Illustrated throughout with fan photographs and stills from a plethora of films and TV shows, this new addition to the Fan Phenomena series promises to both fascinate and delight readers - earthbound and ocean-dwelling alike.
Matthieu Guitton is associate professor at Laval University, Canada, and a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. He is associate editor of Computers in Human Behavior.