Mythgard Academy Guest Lecture Series

Mythgard Academy is proud to announce The 2015 Inaugural Guest Lecture Series. We will have the honor of hearing from six brilliant scholars and writers this year. Here are the confirmed guests thus far:

  1. Michael Drout on “Lexomic Analysis of Beowulf and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Scholarship on the Poem: A Confluence.”
  2. Matthew Dickerson on “Tolkien as Early Environmentalist.”
  3. Malcolm Guite on “The Truth of Imagination in the Writings of Lewis and Tolkien.”
  4. Tom Shippey on myth in modern fantasy
  5. Amy Sturgis on the forthcoming Hunger Games and Star Wars films

On Monday, March 23rd, at 6:00 EST, Dr. Michael Drout will speak on “Lexomic Analysis of Beowulf and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Scholarship on the Poem: A Confluence.”
Click here to register:

Michael Drout is Professor of English and Chair of the English Department at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. He has published several books of scholarship on Tolkien, Anglo-Saxon literature in general, and Beowulf in particular, including J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, Of Sorcerers and Men: Tolkien and the Roots of Modern Fantasy Literature, and Beowulf and the Critics. He is active in the promotion and dissemination of spoken Old English texts, and has himself made many recordings of Old English poetry and prose. His important work at Wheaton College’s Lexomics Research Group has led to the development of new, computer-assisted methods of textual analysis.

Matthew Dickerson is a Professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, associated with the Department of Computer Science, the Program of Environmental Studies, and the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf (which he directs). He has written or co-written several important books on Tolkien and other fantasy literature, including Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien; From Homer to Harry Potter: A Handbook on Myth and Fantasy; Following Gandalf: Epic Battles and Moral Victory in The Lord of the Rings; Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: The Environmental Vision of C. S. Lewis; and A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. He also writes novels. In addition to his teaching and writing, he is a musicians, songwriter, and avid fly-fisherman. He lives on a 62-acre wooded hillside parcel of land, where he taps trees, makes his own maple syrup, raises honeybees, keeps a garden without pesticides, and heats his house using wood from his own property.

Malcolm Guite is a priest, poet, professor, writer, and rock-n-roller. He is Bye-Fellow, Chaplain, and Supervisor in English and Theology at Girton College, Cambridge University. He researches and writes about the interface between theology and the arts, particularly Theology and Literature, and has special interests in Coleridge and C.S. Lewis. He has published a book entitled Faith, Hope and Poetry: Theology and the Poetic Imagination, as well as poetry and theological writing. He is also one of the Clergy at St. Edward King and Martyr, in the Centre of Cambridge. He has a rock band called Mystery Train and is part of a jazz-poetry performance collective called riprap.

Tom Shippey holds a PhD from Cambridge University and served for many years as the Chair of Humanities at Saint Louis University’s College of Arts and Sciences. He is a scholar of medieval literature, Anglo-Saxon language and literature, medievalism, modern fantasy, and science fiction. He is one of the world’s leading scholars on the works of Tolkien. His publications include The Road to Middle-earth, J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, and The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories. He has published many articles on Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon literature. He was born in Calcutta, India, and as a child played with a friend’s full-grown pet Bengal tiger.

Amy Sturgis holds a Ph.D. in Intellectual History and specializes in the fields of Science Fiction/Fantasy and Native American Studies. She has written or edited studies of topics in American history, and many articles on a wide range of topics including Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, including “Not Your Parents’ Dystopias: Millennial Fondness for Worlds Gone Wrong,” “H.P. Lovecraft and the Imaginative Tale,” Part 1 and Part 2, and “Harry Potter Is A Hobbit: Rowling, Tolkien, and The Question of Readership.”




About Sørina Higgins

Sørina Higgins is a PhD student in English and Presidential Scholar at Baylor University. She also serves as Chair of the Language and Literature Department at Signum University, online. Her latest publication is an academic essay collection on "The Inklings and King Arthur" (Apocryphile Press, December 2017). Her interests include British Modernism, the Inklings, Arthuriana, theatre, and magic. She holds an M.A. from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Sørina blogs about British poet Charles Williams at The Oddest Inkling, wrote the introduction to a new edition of Williams’s "Taliessin through Logres" (Apocryphile, 2016), and edited Williams’s "The Chapel of the Thorn" (Apocryphile, 2014). As a creative writer, Sørina has published two books of poetry, "The Significance of Swans" (2007) and "Caduceus" (2012).
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5 Responses to Mythgard Academy Guest Lecture Series

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    How does this work? Are these the equivalent of free public lectures, or are they ‘paid admission’? Does one have to ‘attend’ them in real time, or will they be subsequently archived and available for (re)viewing, that way, too?


    • Hello there! It’s a totally free lecture. You can either attend live (using the GoToMeeting software by Citrix, which is also totally free for you as a viewer), which means you can ask the speaker questions, or you can download it to watch/listen to later. I hope you can be there!


      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        Thanks for the explanation! And what a delightful answer (totally free)!

        EST has had its time-change while ours doesn’t come till the last weekend of March, so on 23 March 6:00 p.m. EST (I assume it is 6 p.m., as a 6 a.m. lecture sounds unlikely!) is 11 p.m. CET.

        Having dire night-owlish tendencies, I may be among the inhabitants of continental Europe likely to attend (unless sleep or an urgent ‘all-nighter’ should overtake me)…

        Much joy of Beowulf and Tolkien to all live participants, in any case!


  2. Pingback: In My Pensieve: A Link Round Up | Stories & Soliloquies

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