eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/No Try)
It's official! I'll be a guest speaker/program participant at the following science fiction cons this spring/summer: RavenCon, ConCarolinas, and MidAmeriCon II/The 74th Worldcon.

My most recent "Looking Back on Genre History" segment is my third (and last for now) discussion of Star Wars inspirations. This is a stand-alone segment discussing the inspirations behind the Republic's transformation into the Empire, and you can find it here on Episode 419 of StarShipSofa. (My two-part look into the science fictional and historical inspirations behind the Jedi of Star Wars include Part 1 here and Part 2 here.) This is my 80th "Looking Back" segment! If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

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 )


Dec. 23rd, 2015 01:23 pm
eldritchhobbit: (Mediaeval face)
Some of my friends (who also happen to be former graduate students) have been doing some fantastic things online:

* from Curtis Weyant (on Star Wars and Star Trek): "The Force is not magic."

* from Emily Strand: "Kylo Snape? Is The Force Awakens the Eighth Harry Potter Story?"

* and also from Emily Strand via Mugglenet Academia: "The Second War was Won on the Quidditch Pitch of Hogwarts: Quidditch as a Symbol Set in the Harry Potter Narrative."

And here are a couple more links for your enjoyment:

* from The British Library: "Medieval Star Wars."

* from I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere: "Celebrating Christmas on Baker Street."
eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/Merlin/Gandalf)
My latest article is now online in the digital edition of Reason Magazine (Jan. 2016 issue): "Star Wars, Remixed." Here it is! If you read it, I thank you and hope you enjoy it.

eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/No Try)
Hey! My latest article is now out in the print edition of Reason Magazine (Jan. 2016 issue): "Star Wars, Remixed."

When it's online, I'll post a link.

eldritchhobbit: (Qui-Gon/Forever on Quest)
This Spring I'll be teaching my "The Force of Star Wars" course online (in both undergraduate and graduate-level versions) at my current home, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and my old stomping grounds, Belmont University. The class sizes are limited, and now that pre-registration has begun, I'm tickled to say that interest appears to be high. There are waiting lists to get into sections at both campuses. The Force does indeed seem to be awakening! ;)

Following conversations with my fantastic Star Wars students this semester, I've been going back through some of the literature to find some favorite Qui-Gon Jinn-related quotes (above and beyond these that I posted earlier).

Quotes are below the cut. )
eldritchhobbit: (Autumn)
Thank you, my friends, for all of your kind and sympathetic words. They've meant a great deal to me over these recent days.

FYI, my most recent "Looking Back on Genre History" segment is up on Episode 410 of StarShipSofa. It's the first of a two-part look into the science fictional and historical inspirations behind the Jedi of Star Wars. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

And now, a moment of joy, courtesy of my niece. Kaitlyn's favorite thing to do this season is dive into a pile of dry leaves.

Kaitlyn playing in pile of dry leaves
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/trick or treat)
Today is official Star Wars Reads Day! Be sure to check out the events and free downloadable/printable activity kits here.

Mentioning Star Wars during my Halloween countdown doesn't seem out of place to me, because Star Wars has been a part of the Halloween costuming experience in my home for thirty-seven years, as these photos prove. (Psst! If you want to see more Star Wars costumes from all over the world, check out this group on Flickr.)

Ready for Halloween Virginia as Princess Leia Halloween 2011

I'll leave you with two final Star Wars-Halloween visuals.

" Every Halloween... "

eldritchhobbit: (Qui-Gon/What U Cannot Do)
I'm back from Colonial Williamsburg and a fantastic conference on the Iroquois Confederacy. I could've used a day to recuperate before facing Monday, but so it goes. Onward and upward!

It's been ages since I reposted these, so today's the day. Here are the five tone poems from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. They were originally heard in the ads for the film.

"One Dream" (Anakin's Tone Poem)
What if dreams came true,
And you could be who you wanted to be,
And you could do what you wanted to do,
And you could help who you wanted to help?
What if dreams came true
And the world opened up
And you were never, ever afraid?
What if dreams came true?
But dreams do come true...
Don't they?

"One Will" (Amidala's Tone Poem)
There are things I cannot do.
I cannot watch while people suffer.
I cannot sit when something must be done.
I cannot cannot judge those who are different.
There are things I cannot do.
I cannot run, hide, or ignore.
There are things I cannot do.
But there are certainly things I will do.

"One Love" (Shmi's Tone Poem)
Don't look back before you go.
Eyes forward.
Choices to make.
Dreams to realize.
Don't look back before you go.
Know the truth, learn to let go.
Don't look back before you go,
Before you leave me.

"One Truth" (Darth Maul's Tone Poem)
Fear Attracts the Fearful, the Strong, the Weak, the Innocent, the Corrupt.
Fear is my ally.

"One Destiny" (Qui-Gon's Tone Poem)
It will be a hard life,
One without reward.
Without remorse.
Without regret.
A path will be placed before you.
The choice is yours alone.
Do what you think you cannot do.
It will be a hard life,
But you will find out who you are.
eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/Weird Al)
In case you missed my public Star Wars lecture entitled "The Jedi, the Cowboy, and... Thomas Edison? Pulp Science Fiction and Star Wars," it is available now for free as a video and in audio-only form here.

In addition, tremendous thanks to everyone who voted in my recent October-related poll. If you haven't yet, the poll is still open!
eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/Obi-Wan/Not Defeat)
The fantastic Curtis Weyant interviewed me for the Mythgard Institute blog: "Interview: Amy H. Sturgis on The Force of Star Wars." Now that you know my answer, tell me: which character would you choose to be from the Star Wars 'verse?

Speaking of Star Wars, here's one last reminder: I'll be giving my live online lecture “The Jedi, the Cowboy, and… Thomas Edison?: Pulp Science Fiction and Star Wars for the Mythgard Academy Guest Lecture Series on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 3:00 pm ET. Everyone is welcome! There is no cost. Save your virtual seat by registering for the talk here. The Guest Lecture Series site has more information on the lecture here.

eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/Merlin/Gandalf)
Reminder: I'll be giving my live online lecture “The Jedi, the Cowboy, and… Thomas Edison?: Pulp Science Fiction and Star Wars for the Mythgard Academy Guest Lecture Series on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 3:00 pm ET. Everyone is welcome! There is no cost. Save your virtual seat by registering for the talk here. The Guest Lecture Series site has more information on the lecture here.

If you missed David Brin's wonderful talk and Q&A session ("Can Science Fiction Change the World?"), have no fear! It's now online for free access both as a video and as audio only. Enjoy!
eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/Obi-Wan/Not Defeat)
The next two online events in Mythgard Institute's Guest Lecture Series are all about science fiction. You're invited to attend live for free!

DAVID BRIN will give his talk “Can Science Fiction Change the World?” on Saturday, 25 July, 2015 at 6:00pm ET. There's no cost, but virtual space is limited, so register now to reserve your seat!

David Brin is a scientist, speaker, technical consultant, and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula, and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages. Some of his best-known novels include Earth, The Postman (filmed in 1997), and Hugo Award winners Startide Rising and The Uplift War. A leading commentator and speaker on modern trends, his nonfiction book The Transparent Society won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association. Brin serves on advisory committees dealing with subjects as diverse as national defense and homeland security, astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction and philanthropy. He has served since 2010 on the council of external advisers for NASA’s Innovative and Advanced Concepts group (NIAC), which supports the most inventive and potentially ground-breaking new endeavors. In 2013, David Brin helped to establish the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UCSD, where he was honored as a “distinguished alumnus” and where he was thereafter a Visiting Scholar in Residence.

Brin’s newest novel Existence explores the ultimate question: billions of planets are ripe for life. So where is Everybody? David’s main thread: how will we shape the days and years ahead – and how will tomorrow shape us?

As for myself, AMY H. STURGIS, I will give my talk “The Jedi, the Cowboy, and… Thomas Edison?: Pulp Science Fiction and Star Wars on Saturday, 15 August at 3:00 pm ET. There's no cost, but virtual space is limited, so register now to reserve your seat!

You know me (and if you don't, here is my website). Below is the official synopsis of my talk:

What images come to mind when you think of Star Wars? Luke Skywalker watching the twin suns set on Tatooine? Princess Leia with a blaster in her hand and buns on her head? The glow of a lightsaber in the darkness? These visuals convey volumes, and they spring in part from a common origin.

One of the keys to the worldwide success of Star Wars is that the saga draws from a variety of global sources, both classical and contemporary. Join Dr. Amy H. Sturgis as she discusses one particular tradition that has left its indelible imprint on the Star Wars franchise. How did pulp science fiction evolve? What is the relationship between this genre and the Western? And how can tracing the pulp ancestry of Star Wars give us new insights on key moments and messages across the Star Wars canon — and quite possibly shed light on the forthcoming film The Force Awakens? Star Wars fans and newbies alike are welcome!

Please spread the word if you know of others who might be interested! Thanks so much. I hope to see you at these talks.
eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/No Try)
Registration is open for my Fall 2015 online course The Force of Star Wars: Examining the Epic!

Here's the course description:

As anyone who has ever staged a mock lightsaber duel or made an imaginary jump to lightspeed knows, Star Wars is a shared language that unites multiple generations across the planet. What traditions and ideas inspired that galaxy a long time ago and far, far away? How has the Star Wars universe expanded and evolved since its debut in 1977? What can we expect from its future incarnations? Join award-winning scholar Dr. Amy H. Sturgis as she examines the fabric of the Star Wars story and its participatory fan culture to discover the lasting meaning behind the epic and appreciate its unprecedented impact on film, fiction, and popular culture.

Don’t move along. This is the class you’re looking for.

Star Wars Course Banner

Please visit mythgard.org/starwars for more details, including a week-by-week breakdown of the course topics and information on our very special guest speaker. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Here is the course trailer.

eldritchhobbit: (Dracula/Gorey)
Christopher Lee's elegant and intelligent presence looms large in so many of the 'verses I love and study and research and teach: the Gothic, Holmesiana, Tolkieniana, Star Wars, etc. I'm handling the sad news today by imagining his *epic* reunion with his dear friend, Peter Cushing. Two one-of-a-kind gentlemen.

*moment of silence*

eldritchhobbit: (Qui-Gon/Creed)
Happy Star Wars Day!

Today seems like the perfect opportunity to announce that it's official: my Fall 2015 online course for Mythgard Institute will be "The Force of Star Wars: Examining the Epic." I'm very excited!

May the 4th be with you !

“Evacuate in our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances.”
- Grand Moff Tarkin, Star Wars: A New Hope


Nov. 10th, 2014 09:56 am
eldritchhobbit: (Star Wars/Obi-Wan/Not Defeat)
* Huge congratulations to Glass Hammer's Stephen R. Babb on the publication of his gorgeous The Lay of Lirazel in paperback, ebook, and audiobook form. The Lay Of Lirazel is narrative poetry told in epic fashion, but it is poetry fully equipped with fangs and enough terror to keep a reader turning pages till the last curse falls and death and doom claim their prize! Inspired by the poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson, the paintings of John W. Waterhouse, and the writings of George MacDonald, William Morris, and Lord Dunsany, The Lay of Lirazel is the essence of the mythopoeic set to verse. I'm proud to have written the foreword for this remarkable work. Highly recommended!


* I'll be offering a two-weekend-long intense lecture series called "The Dystopian Tradition: What Worlds Gone Wrong Can Teach Us" in Spring 2015 in Asheville, NC (minutes from where much of The Hunger Games was filmed). Accepted undergraduate/graduate students will have hotel and meals provided without cost. Interested students may apply here.

* Sean Pertwee's Halloween costume made me go all mushy inside. (Incidentally, he's my favorite thing about Gotham, and there's a lot to love about that show.)

* So Star Wars Episode VII will be The Force Awakens. I didn't realize that the Force had dozed off. That said, I hope the latest speculations have some truth to them. If so, it could be good, even great. (Anthony Daniels certainly seems pleased with it.)

What do u think? Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens #starwars #disney

* I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Elizabeth Peña. She starred in a film I dearly love, Lone Star, and several other great ones (Jacob's Ladder, anyone?). So sad.

* I'm looking forward to Billy Boyd's "The Last Goodbye" for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. (We can hear a clip now here and via iTunes.)

Have a great day!
eldritchhobbit: (Qui-Gon/When the time comes)
Today is the 15th anniversary of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Say what you will about that film (there's certainly more than enough to criticize), it did provide us with Qui-Gon Jinn. So there.

In the mood for a bit of nostalgic wallowing, I thought I'd dust off a few of my related past posts from the vault:
* "Violently in Battle, In Shock and Despair"
(A study of passages from Jude Watson's Jedi Apprentice novel series that foreshadow Qui-Gon's untimely death before Obi-Wan reaches knighthood.)
* "One Destiny"
(The five tone poems from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.)
* "Pure Vessels"
(My discussion of Qui-Gon Jinn and the metaphors of the Force in Star Wars. With links to non-fiction texts.)
* "When Qui-Gon Went Under the Microscope"
(Reviews of Qui-Gon-related fan fiction. With links. A companion post to "Pure Vessels.")
* "The End of Star Wars, But Not Its Fans"
(A post about my NPR interview on the "Talk of the Nation" program about the Star Wars phenomenon and the nature of fandom.)

Sing it with me, people:
"And in the end, some Gungans died,/ Some ships blew up, and some pilots fried./ A lot of folks were croakin'./ The battle droids were broken./ And the Jedi I admire most/ Met up with Darth Maul, and now he's toast./ Well, I'm still here, and he's a ghost..."

Last, here's a relevant quote for your day. The chant from the Star Wars theme "Duel of the Fates," which is heard during the climactic Darth Maul fight with Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace, is a Sanskrit translation of two lines from the archaic Celtic poem "Cad Goddeu" (or "Battle of the Trees"):

Under the tongue root a fight most dread,
And another raging behind, in the head.

In English:
The Battle of the Trees )


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