Hear ye, hear ye!
Fall 2017 registration at Signum University is open! Come peruse our lineup of marvelous classes and make your Sophie’s choice among them – or bravely refuse to do any such thing and simply quit your day job so you can sign up to take them all!
Introducing Writer’s Forge
This year, Signum is offering a new student service: the Writer’s Forge, a writing tutorial program where you can hone your craft, becoming a more effective communicator within Academia at large and in your degree work in particular. The Writer’s Forge can give you confidence in your abilities as a scholar, even if it’s been a while since you tried your hand at a paper.
Signum Advisory Reminder
Don’t forget to take advantage of Signum’s advisory program. If you’re a credit student, contact your Signum Advisor ASAP to discuss your progression in the degree program. We encourage all Signum MA students to give thought to when they will take the Research Methods course specifically, as Signum requires that this class be taken within your first four courses. Everyone else is strongly encouraged to take this course, as it provides fundamental skills and concepts for success in all Signum classes, the M.A. thesis, and future work in the fields of language and literature.
Finally, a short word: you’ll notice when you access the signup forms for your class(es) of choice that tuition has increased slightly: credit courses from $575 to $650, and discussion audits from $425 to $475. President Corey Olsen has a short informational video on the reasons for this increase. In brief, Signum has been growing by leaps and bounds. In the past four years, as the almost entirely volunteer staff has been doing wonders to keep pace with Signum’s promising growth, we’ve been able to keep our tuition steadily low, in keeping with our vision: to make quality higher education affordable and accessible to all! Though our operating costs have enlarged as we’ve grown, we’re proud that this year is the first since 2013 that we’ve needed to introduce a modest tuition increase. And we remain committed to per-credit costs that are far below any equivalent degree programs out there.
Signum’s Fall Course Offerings
Each course has a brief summary listed here; click through to the linked course pages for more information.
Beowulf in Old English: (Prerequisite: “Introduction to Anglo-Saxon.”) Beowulf has long been seen as the crown jewel of early English literature. We at Signum are therefore pleased to be able to offer what is becoming increasingly rare: an opportunity to translate and scrutinize this poem line by line. Through intensive, seminar-style classes, students will be given an opportunity to practice their skills in translating the Old English language, as well as to become intimately familiar with this text.
Chaucer I: Visions of Love: What besides The Canterbury Tales did Chaucer write? How did Chaucer engage with earlier medieval authors? This class is the first semester in a two-part survey of Chaucer’s major works. In this first semester, we will study the works with which Chaucer established his reputation in his time: his early dream vision poems and his greatest completed work: Troilus and Criseyde. We will be reading Chaucer exclusively in Middle English, but no previous experience with Middle English is required.
Elementary Latin II: The second semester of “Elementary Latin” will complete your introduction to the basic elements of the Latin language. Last semester, we began reading connected passages and short selections of unaltered Latin; this semester, these readings will become more prominent as our knowledge of Latin advances. You will not be expected to speak Latin, but you should have at this point a good classical pronunciation and know where to place important accents.
Introduction to Germanic Philology I: This class offers a survey of the older Germanic languages (especially Gothic, Old Norse, and Old English), and the literatures written in those languages. We will take the textual records of these languages as our point of departure, examining their literary qualities and linguistic peculiarities, as well as their historical and cultural contexts.
Norse Myths & Sagas: This course provides an introduction to the myths and sagas of medieval Scandinavia. The course focuses on readings from authentic texts in translation (no knowledge of the original languages is required!) but also discusses the wider cultural and historical context, including consideration of echoes from the medieval Norse literary tradition in modern culture and fiction.
A note on both the Germanic Philology and Norse Sagas pages: these pages will be fairly bare for a while, with just instructor, course number, and course description. More details will be added there in the coming weeks. But for now, think of it as thematic. The sparseness and severity of northerly climates, and all that.
Research Methods: What is literature? Why do we read it? How do we interpret it? How do contingent matters such as gender, race, class, and historical context affect the ways we interpret literature? How do we maintain contact with the significant scholarly conversations relevant for reading particular kinds of literature? These questions and the various ways the discipline of English literature has responded to them are the subjects of Signum’s Research Methods course.
Tolkien’s Wars and Middle-earth: Who were the T.C.B.S? How did they influence Tolkien? What did he do in the First World War, and how did it change him? What became of his first “fellowship” of friends? How does the trench experience infuse The Lord of the Rings and other works, and how does all this relate to his other passions-myth and fairy-tale, the medieval, and the invention of languages?
Thank you so much, each of you; your enthusiasm, participation, intelligence, and goodwill make Signum the vibrant and rewarding community that it is today.