Registration Now Open for Mythgard Institute’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Courses

Mythgard Institute has posted the schedule for their Spring 2013 courses.

They include the following juicy programs for genre lovers:


Science Fiction, Part II taught by Dr. Amy H. Sturgis

What does it mean to be human? Are we alone? What wonders or terrors will tomorrow hold? Join award-winning scholar Dr. Amy H. Sturgis as she explores the ways in which the literature of science fiction over time has asked the question: “What if?” This course will consider the development of the genre from the emergence of the New Wave in the 1960s to today, with an eye toward how the great works and movements within science fiction both reflect the concerns and attitudes of their time and imagine beyond them. Discover why author Ray Bradbury said that science fiction reflects “the history of our civilization birthing itself.”

Course Schedule is here.


Required texts include:


The Story of The Hobbit taught by Professor Corey Olsen

This course will examine the life of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. We will examine several important precursors of the book, works that helped establish the genre in which Tolkien was writing, or which influenced Tolkien’s own thinking. We will then read not the final published version of The Hobbit, but the growth of the story in manuscript and typescript, examining carefully how the story developed and in what directions. We will then turn to the publication and reception of The Hobbit, including its adaptation to film. We’ll end the semester with a discussion of the Rankin-Bass animated Hobbit and, after a brief delay, a discussion of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The class will also offer two guest lectures. These are hosted by Professor Olsen and feature scholars John D. Rateliff, author of The History of The Hobbit, and Douglas A. Anderson, author of The Annotated Hobbit, two of the foremost scholars on The Hobbit in the world.

Course Schedule is here.



Required texts include:


Tolkien’s World of Middle-Earth taught by Professor Verlyn Flieger

In this course, students will read Tolkien’s two critical essays, Beowulf, and The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings to explore how his world and his myth developed over time. There are three interim exams, one on the essays and Beowulf, one on The Silmarillion, one on The Hobbit, plus a two-hour final exam on The Lord of the Rings. Each exam builds on the one before it. All are open book, open notes. The goal is not to test your memory, but to get you to think deeply and critically about the material and the relationships among the works. You should know more at the end of each exam than you did before you started.

Course Schedule is here.

Required texts include: