eldritchhobbit: (Rogue One/Baze smiling)
It's time for my annual navel-gazing post, in which I take stock of the year beyond my university teaching for my own information/edification.

So here's my reading, podcasting, and published work this year.

Below the cut: lists! )
eldritchhobbit: (Dr. Horrible/Ph.D.)
I'm back from an action-packed Worldcon, just in time for the start of a new semester!

My stand-alone academic presentation from the con, "His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: How The Hunger Games' World of Tomorrow Builds on SF's Classic Past," is now available for free on the latest episode of StarShipSofa. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

And here is Kaitlyn at Worldcon, her very first (but not her last!) con. Steampunk Star Wars shirt? Check. TARDIS? Check. Happy smile? Check.

eldritchhobbit: (SF/Exploring space)
I'll shortly be on my way to MidAmeriCon II/the 74th World Science Fiction Convention. If you're attending, I hope you'll say hello!

Below is my schedule. I'm delighted and privileged to be on panels with some stellar folks in the SF community. Each event title links to its official description and list of participants.


Thursday, August 18
2pm: "His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: How The Hunger Games' World of Tomorrow Builds on SF's Classic Past"
This is my stand-alone academic presentation, which is part of the Campbell Conference/Academic Track.

Friday, August 19
11am: "Queer Star Wars"
This panel is part of the 40th Anniversary Star Wars Day programming.

Saturday, August 20
10am: "Alienation and Science Fiction"
I am the moderator of this panel.

12pm: "Inspiring the Creativity"
I am the moderator of this panel.

2pm: "Magazine Group Reading: Escape Artists, Inc."

8pm: The Hugo Awards
I am honored to be the official representative of Hugo nominee Tales to Terrify at this year's ceremony.

Sunday, August 21
12pm: "Criticism in Speculative Fiction"

I plan to post updates and photos on my Twitter feed.

Catch you on the flip side!
eldritchhobbit: (Hunger Games)
Recently I was invited to share thoughts related both to Harry Potter and to my essay "His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: The Hunger Games and the Modern Dystopian Tradition" in an extended interview on MuggleNet Academia with hosts Keith Hawk and the Hogwarts Professor himself, John Granger, as well as the editor of Critical Insights: The Hunger Games, Lana Whited, and my fellow contributor to the volume, Elizabeth Baird-Hardy. It was great fun to be part of this conversation.

I hope you'll check out MuggleNet Academia Lesson #45: "District 9 3/4: Harry Potter and The Hunger Games: Critical Insights"! If you listen, I hope you enjoy.

eldritchhobbit: (Orphan Black/Cosima)
Hello, everyone! Happy Friday!

* I'm delighted to be part of the ensemble cast who narrated the amazing "The Four Generations of Chang E" by Zen Cho for the latest episode of The Drabblecast. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

* Here's a new Call for Papers that may be useful: "Monster Media in their Historical Contexts."

* If you're interested in the updates J.K. Rowling has been making at Pottermore and/or the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films, I recommend checking out Chris Calderon's recent "The Allegory of Fantastic Beasts" guest posts on the Hogwarts Professor blog.

* Last, I'm happy to say that my essay "His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: The Hunger Games and the Modern Dystopian Tradition" is now out in the collection Critical Insights: The Hunger Games Trilogy edited by Lana Whited.

eldritchhobbit: (Tori/I was here)
It's time for my year-end review post.

Apologies for being quiet of late. I've been dealing with both shingles and sinus-related nastiness for which surgery looms in 2016. Ick. I do hope your holiday season has been more enjoyable!

But back to taking stock of 2015...

What I Published in 2015

In Books

* “Seeking Dumbledore’s Mother: Harry Potter in the Native American Context” in Harry Potter for Nerds II, Kathryn McDaniel and Travis Prinzi, eds.

* “Harry Potter and the Dystopia After Tomorrow” in Ravenclaw Reader: Seeking the Artistry and Meaning of J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts Saga, The St. Andrews University Harry Potter Conference, John Patrick Pazdziora and Micah Snell, eds.

* [Note: Also written in 2015 and accepted for 2016 publication: “His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: The Hunger Games and the Modern Dystopian Tradition” in Critical Insights: The Hunger Games, Lana A. Whited, ed., Grey House/Salem Press, forthcoming in 2016]

In Reason Magazine

*“Star Wars, Remixed: George Lucas’ Universe Is a Mashup Masterwork,” Reason (January 2016) online here

* “The Many Resurrections of Sherlock Holmes: Why the Great Detective Is Always in Fashion,” Reason (October 2015) online here

* “Feminism, Frankenstein, and Freedom: The Individualistic Works and Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley,” Reason (June 2015) online here

What I Read in 2015
What I Read in 2015 )
eldritchhobbit: (Hunger Games)
The first episode of The Hunger Games: The Biggest Fan Awards is here, and I'm delighted to say that I am one of the judges for this new web series. Please watch, share, and vote online for your favorite contestant. Viewers decide the winner.

If you know of any Hunger Games fans who would like to compete in one of the next episodes (tweens, teens, and adults of all ages are welcome), please encourage them to visit the website and apply. Thanks!

I hope you enjoy the show!

eldritchhobbit: (Elsewhere)
Wow! The first weekend of my two-weekend "The Dystopian Tradition: What Worlds Gone Wrong Can Teach Us" event was spectacular, with amazing students and fascinating discussions. I'm very much looking forward to the second half of the event. Thanks to everyone who participated!

In other news that makes me happy, I've just proofed the final galleys for two of my essays which will be published soon. “Feminism, Frankenstein, and Freedom: The Individualistic Works and Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley” will appear in REASON, and "Seeking Dumbledore's Mother: Harry Potter in the Native American Context" will appear in Harry Potter for Nerds II (along with works by several of my current and former graduate students, I'm delighted to say).

In addition, my proposal for the essay "His Fordship in the Capitol and Big Brother in the Districts: The Hunger Games and the Modern Dystopian Tradition" has been accepted for the forthcoming 2016 scholarly volume Critical Insights: The Hunger Games.

Day 38/365 ~ We Read to Know We Are Not Alone

Speaking of publications, here are some Calls for Papers of possible interest.
- New Worlds, Terrifying Monsters, Impossible Things: Exploring the Contents and Contexts of Doctor Who
- Engendering the Disc – The Fantastic Worlds of Terry Pratchett
- Being Humans. The Human Condition in the age of techno-humanism: representations, practices, experiences

Happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] sarah531, [livejournal.com profile] vg_ford, [livejournal.com profile] tunes84, [livejournal.com profile] captnofmyheart, [livejournal.com profile] wildviolet4, [livejournal.com profile] savagedoc45, [livejournal.com profile] lalam, [livejournal.com profile] silveraspen, [livejournal.com profile] denorios, [livejournal.com profile] prettybirdy979, [livejournal.com profile] sakuraember, [livejournal.com profile] cherylmmorgan, [livejournal.com profile] muuranker, [livejournal.com profile] izhilzha, and [livejournal.com profile] justicemuffins. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!
eldritchhobbit: (A is for Amy)
Of possible interest!

* Critical Insights: The Hunger Games is a volume in a Grey House literature reference series. The target audience is undergraduate and advanced high school students seeking deeper insight into the primary work(s) and literary study in general. The essays will be divided into two sections: Critical Contexts, consisting of essays relevant to the cultural and historical context of the primary work(s), and Critical Readings, consisting of essays offering various interpretations of the work(s). More information is available here.

* Here is the Lovecraftian Call for Abstracts for this year's Dr. Henry Armitage Memorial Scholarship Symposium (previously the Emerging Scholarship Symposium) at NecronomiCon in Providence. In 2013, this symposium was one of the highlights of the convention, and we're excited to bring it back this year, bigger and better. Deadline for submission is May 23. All accepted presenters will receive a free convention pass and access to a special reception for guests. However, space is limited, so all submissions will undergo a review process. For the full CFA and more details, go here. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] ankh_hpl!)
eldritchhobbit: (Cabin Pressure/Dames and Horses)
It's official! I've happily accepted the position of Department Chair of Literature and Language at Signum University. Speaking of which, registration is open for my online "Science Fiction, Part I" course for Fall 2014 at Mythgard Institute at Signum University.

I'm getting ready to head out for a quick trip south to offer guest lectures on intellectual history and The Hunger Games, Serenity, and YA dystopian fiction. (It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.) Here is a quick look at my upcoming speaking schedule.

Science Fiction, Part 1 at Mythgard Institute

Where I Will Be Speaking When

"Life Is Improv" Seminar at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia

Loncon 3/the 72nd Worldcon in London, UK
Here is my updated schedule. )

A Long-Expected Party 3 in Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

A Long Expected Party 3
eldritchhobbit: (TOS/Banned from Argo)
My resistance was futile!

ConCarolinas is coming up this weekend! George R.R. Martin is the guest of honor, and the organizers are expecting quite a crowd. I understand registration for Saturday is completely sold out!

I'll be an author-scholar guest on the following panels:

9am: Breakfast and Books
10am: I Am SHERLocked (I'm also moderating this panel.)

12pm: The Hobbit Movies
1:30pm: The Hunger Games

I hope to see some of you there!

And speaking of parties, happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] gondoriangirl, and happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] vivien529, [livejournal.com profile] senket, [livejournal.com profile] chorale, [livejournal.com profile] nakeisha, [livejournal.com profile] poenari, [livejournal.com profile] ebonange, [livejournal.com profile] primroseburrows, [livejournal.com profile] gbsteve, [livejournal.com profile] eowynmaiar, [livejournal.com profile] sally_maria, [livejournal.com profile] magicwondershow, [livejournal.com profile] groovekittie, [livejournal.com profile] eveningblue, [livejournal.com profile] peadarog, [livejournal.com profile] thehornedgod, [livejournal.com profile] baylorsr, [livejournal.com profile] lin4gondor, [livejournal.com profile] caitri, [livejournal.com profile] belleferret, [livejournal.com profile] valancourtbooks, [livejournal.com profile] potboy, [livejournal.com profile] alex_beecroft, [livejournal.com profile] nurdbunny, [livejournal.com profile] lisa_marli, [livejournal.com profile] graashoppa, [livejournal.com profile] toddlyles, and [livejournal.com profile] pktheater. May you enjoy many happy returns of the day, my friends!
eldritchhobbit: (Hunger Games)
Psst! Did you know [livejournal.com profile] darchildre was reading Icelandic sagas and sharing the recorded narrations? Run, don't walk, to partake of the goodness.

And now, on the subject of YA dystopias...

* From The New York Times: "Our Young-Adult Dystopia" by Michelle Dean. There are some interesting assertions here, especially in the context of Divergent and The Bone Season:
"I often wonder if the people in charge of these decisions noticed that Rowling was 30 when she sold Harry Potter, or that Collins was 46 when The Hunger Games appeared.... Forgive the presumption, but our present circumstances lead me to suggest another item for C.S. Lewis’s list: We like these stories because they have a special relationship with time. Children’s literature toys with our chronological expectations because the best of it has always been written, actually, by the comparatively elderly. Lewis himself was 51 when the Narnia books came out; Lois Lowry was 56 when The Giver was published; Madeleine L’Engle wrote A Wrinkle in Time in her 40s, and L. Frank Baum his Oz books in the same decade of his life. Age is what the greats have in common. The long years between adolescence and middle age seem to be necessary soil for this craft."

* On a related note, from Charles Stross: "Generation Z." (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] whswhs.)
Stross articulates some of the questions I've been asking in my work:
"There has been a boom market in dystopian young adult fiction over the past decade. There is a reason for this. Play and recreation is an important training mechanism in young mammals by which they practice or rehearse activities that will fit them for later adult life experiences. (It's also fun, but bear with me while I discuss the more ploddingly puritan angle for a moment.) Could it be that the popularity of YA dystopias reflects the fact that our youngest generation of readers expect to live out their lives in dystopia? (The alternative explanations hold that (a) high school in the age of helicopter parenting, fingerprint readers in the library, and CCTV in the corridors is an authoritarian dystopia anyway, and YA dys-fic helps kids understand their environment; and (b) that worse, their parents (who influence their reading) think this.)"

Catching Fire

On a less dystopian note, happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] angelinehawkes, [livejournal.com profile] idwoman, [livejournal.com profile] pseudoanorexic, [livejournal.com profile] vyrdolak, [livejournal.com profile] lyria_theringer, [livejournal.com profile] bistokidsfan77, [livejournal.com profile] catw, [livejournal.com profile] dragonrose1125, [livejournal.com profile] dduane, [livejournal.com profile] lexie_marie, [livejournal.com profile] jalara, [livejournal.com profile] theladyrose, [livejournal.com profile] elvenjoy, [livejournal.com profile] jan_u_wine, [livejournal.com profile] gondoriangirl, [livejournal.com profile] vivien529, and [livejournal.com profile] senket. May each of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!
eldritchhobbit: (Dracula/Gorey)
I finally saw National Theatre Live's broadcast of Coriolanus. Fantastic! Incredible staging, terrific performances by everyone (Tom Hiddleston and Mark Gatiss included), and Deborah Findlay absolutely made the show. I just recently used Coriolanus in teaching The Hunger Games (there's good reason why President Snow's first name is Coriolanus!), and it was a delight finally to see this new and justly acclaimed adaptation.

A couple of items of possible interest:

* From Heritage Daily: "‘A Study in Sherlock’ – The Case of a Revolutionary Detective."

* From Metro: "Sherlock Holmes Swaps Baker Street for the South Coast for New Museum."

We've recently covered Lord Ruthven, Varney, and Carmilla in my Gothic Tradition class (we're on a vampyre/vampire roll), and now it's time for Dracula. To celebrate, I'm reading Stephen Seitz's very canon-conscious Sherlock Holmes and the Plague of Dracula, which I'm enjoying immensely.

And yet, unless my senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere ‘modernity’ cannot kill.
- Bram Stoker, Dracula
eldritchhobbit: (DS9/Science Fiction)
Things that are cool:
1. From The Art of Film: "The Architecture of the Capitol from 'The Hunger Games': Echoes of Rome, Echoes of Totalitarianism."

2. The response to my "On Tyrants & Tributes: Real World Lessons From The Hunger Games" week-long educational program has been absolutely amazing! Thanks to everyone who is taking part. Latecomers are welcome to register (for free!), dive into the videos and discussions, and join us for tomorrow's live webinar event.

3. Here's a Call for Papers and Topic Proposals: Joss Whedon: A Celebration.
Call for Papers and Topic Proposals )

4. And another! Call for Papers: Buffy to Batgirl: Women & Gender in SciFi, Fantasy, & Comics/Conference.

5. Last but definitely not least, our niece Kaitlyn is setting an excellent example for us all, dressed in her Lenoir-Rhyne University gear, ready to cheer on our Bears today in the national championship game. Go Bears!

Kaitlyn Cheers on the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears
eldritchhobbit: (Hobbit/Bilbo corner wonder)
Hello, everyone!

Fun things...
* From Medievalists.net: "The Hidden History of Christmas Carols." Well worth reading. (Thanks to James!)
* From Thirdroar: The Art of Amy L. Rawson: Santa Cthulhu 2013. Fantastic. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wellinghall!)
* Today is The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug day! Woohoo!

* My free Hunger Games event begins on Monday, December 16, and registration is still open: "On Tyrants and Tributes: Real World Lessons from The Hunger Games." (Watch the trailer here.)
* Registration is also open for my Mythgard Institute Spring 2014 course on "The Gothic Tradition." (Watch the trailer here.)

Happy belated birthday to [livejournal.com profile] tuesday_darling, [livejournal.com profile] juliakarr, and [livejournal.com profile] janellemadigan. Happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] mguibord and [livejournal.com profile] gypsyjr. And happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] ericadawn16, [livejournal.com profile] tuilelindowen, [livejournal.com profile] whswhs, [livejournal.com profile] arkhamdenizen, [livejournal.com profile] irisbleufic, [livejournal.com profile] i_llbedammned, [livejournal.com profile] internet_sampo [livejournal.com profile] pambachorz, [livejournal.com profile] cyloran, and [livejournal.com profile] mamomo. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!
eldritchhobbit: (Hunger Games)
Here is my latest video sponsored by LearnLiberty, part of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.

I will be offering a free, online educational event sponsored by IHS at GMU later this month focusing on The Hunger Games: On Tyrants and Tributes: Real World Lessons From The Hunger Games.

The other films of mine in this series include the following:
* Forgotten Rebellion: Black Seminoles and the Largest Slave Revolt in U.S. History
* The Trail of Tears: They Knew It Was Wrong
* Protest Against the Trail of Tears
* The Expulsion of the Acadians
* Andrew Jackson: The First Imperial President


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