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: (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: (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

eldritchhobbit: (Re-Animator/Read More)
Thanks to The Lovecraft eZine and everyone who attended last night's live show! I had a fantastic time.

Here's the video.

eldritchhobbit: (Lovecraftian)
Everyone's invited! I'll be Mike Davis's guest on The Lovecraft eZine's Live Video Chat Show tomorrow (Sunday) at 6pm Eastern. Everyone is welcome! I'll be talking about the online Lovecraft course I'm teaching for Mythgard Institute this summer, and there will be some special giveaways for those who attend the chat show live -- including a free auditor's seat in the class!



In other news, my narration of Neal Asher's wonderful story "Recoper" is on the latest episode of StarShipSofa. If you listen, I hope you enjoy.
eldritchhobbit: (Re-Animator/Weird)
I'll shortly be off to Asheville, and I look forward to seeing some of you at the second half of my "The Dystopian Tradition: What Worlds Gone Wrong Can Teach Us" weekend event.

Here, have some links!

- Tribute to Providence horror writer H.P. Lovecraft takes place Sunday.

- Wilma Mankiller could be on the $20 bill. Very fitting.

- Everyone is invited! I will be the featured guest on The Lovecraft eZine's weekly Sunday live web show on April 26 at 6pm Eastern.

- Last but not least, StarShipSofa's fearless leader, Tony C. Smith, has launched a new science fiction YouTube series. Check out the first show!



Have a great weekend, everyone!
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: (Scully/Outer Space)
I'll shortly be off to Asheville, and I look forward to seeing some of you at my "The Dystopian Tradition: What Worlds Gone Wrong Can Teach Us" weekend event.

Before leaving I had to make a quick post to say how very excited I am that The X-Files is returning (excited is an understatement!) and to share this Honest Trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, which says it all as far as I'm concerned. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] cookiefleck!)



I'll catch you on the flip side, folks!
eldritchhobbit: (Lovecraftian)
Thanks to everyone who helped make SofaCON 2 a most amazing experience. I had an absolutely brilliant time with my fellow Sofanauts.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all who celebrate!

And now, my friends, the stars are right for announcing my online summer course for Mythgard Institute:
"'Literary Copernicus': The Cosmic Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft"


In tales such as “The Call of Cthulhu” and At the Mountains of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft – the disciple of Poe and the champion of the Weird – pioneered a new kind of fiction. Fueled by an astronomer’s insights and an antiquarian’s aesthetic, Lovecraft turned his readers’ focus “from man and his little world and his gods, to the stars and the black and unplumbed gulfs of intergalactic space,” leading author and critic Fritz Leiber, Jr. to dub him “A Literary Copernicus.” More than seventy-five years after Lovecraft’s death, his path-breaking work is more popular and influential than ever. Join me as I explore Lovecraft’s stories and the meaning behind them, the shared universe of his mythos, and the lasting impact of his cosmic vision on the contemporary landscapes of literature and popular culture.

Registration is open! More information is here.

The class promo is here.

eldritchhobbit: (Tori/I was here)
It's time for one of those end-of-the-year stocktaking posts. This is more for my benefit than anything else. What have I accomplished this year?

My 2014... )

Miscellany

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!

screen-shot-2014-10-07-at-4-14-57-pm


* 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: (Lovecraftian)
It's official! For the Summer 2015 semester, I'll be offering a new online and interactive course for degree-seeking graduate students and interested auditors alike via Mythgard Institute: "'Literary Copernicus': The Cosmic Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft." I'm most excited!

Speaking of Lovecraft...

"Droga5 art director Kevin Weir has lots of cool work in his portfolio, like his Flux Machine, a Tumblr in which he turns old photographs into nightmares thanks to some carefully crafted animation—sometimes crazy, sometimes subtle, always disturbing."
- "Old black and white photos come alive in disturbing ghostly GIFs" (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] witchcat07!) This is definitely worth a look, especially during the Halloween season.

Check out this Lovecraftian example of Weir's art:

klpulcoeupuh5r50mmaj


While I'm at it, here are two Lovecraftian book recommendations:
* The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft by Leslie S. Klinger (2014). This just came out on October 1st, and let me tell you, it's absolutely gorgeous. It's gone to the top of my "to read next" stack.
* Reanimators by Pete Rawlik (2013). This is the ultimate Lovecraftian mash-up. Great fun. Here's my review.


"I have looked upon all that the universe has to hold of horror, and even the skies of spring and the flowers of summer must ever afterward be poison to me. But I do not think my life will be long. As my uncle went, as poor Johansen went, so I shall go. I know too much, and the cult still lives."
- H.P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu" (1926)
eldritchhobbit: (Headstone/wings)
Today's photos are by the brilliant [livejournal.com profile] lizziebelle, taken in the burial ground known since 1637 as The Burying Point in Salem, Massachusetts. You can see the rest of her photos from The Burying Point here.

Here is a tragic reminder of the Salem Witch Trials.

DSCN5378


Katherine Howe, author of the adult novel The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and the YA novel Conversion, both about the Salem Witch Trials, also just has edited the brand new Penguin Book of Witches. She recently made this guest post at John Scalzi's Whatever. Here's an excerpt:

On average, the typical accused and executed witch was a woman at middle age—from her 40s to her 60s—who was on the outs with her society in one way or another, usually economically, but maybe personality-wise as well. She was a pain. She was irritating. She made people uncomfortable. She was always begging for something. She was a problem, and she needed to be gotten rid of.

The first person accused as a witch during the Salem episode was a classic example of this. Tituba Indian was a slave in the household of Samuel Parris, the minister in Salem Village. She had come to Salem with him after being enslaved on his failed plantation in Barbados. Tituba was accused by Betty, Samuel’s daughter, of trading her soul to the Devil and using the special powers he granted her to send Betty into “fits.” Tituba confessed, though some historians think that Parris beat the confession out of her, and went on to pass the blame to other women in the community who were vulnerable in similar ways: Sarah Good, who was destitute and begged from door to door, and Sarah Osburn, who had married her handyman and stopped going to church. The idea of “witchcraft” in the colonial period had a lot to do with regulating women, forcing them to comply with cultural ideas of how they were supposed to behave.


DSCN5365 Mrs  Eunice Peele


Next semester (Spring 2015) Katherine Howe will be a visiting writer here at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Very appropriately, the drama department will be performing The Crucible. I will be offering a new and related course for both undergraduate and graduate students at Lenoir-Rhyne to make the most of this happy confluence of events. It will be called "Witch Hunts, Conspiracy Theories, and U.S. Society."
eldritchhobbit: (Holmes/Paget)
Quick note, FYI: The latest Humble Bookperk Bundle from HarperCollins, featuring DRM-free, multiformat ebooks available for pay-what-you-want rates, includes works by two of my favorite authors, namely The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold and American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Check it out! (Thanks to Curtis.)

My new semesters begin next week at Lenoir-Rhyne University (where I'll be teaching the "Monsters and Mad Science" seminar for both undergraduate and graduate students) and Mythgard Institute (where I'll be offering the M.A.-level "Science Fiction, Part I: From Modern Beginnings to the Golden Age"), so I'm gearing up for those. In the meantime, I'm also trying to upload, label, and caption my photos from London.

Recreation of the Sitting Room in 221b Baker Street


One of the first things I did in London was make a pilgrimage to the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street. It was amazing. Here are all of my photos from the museum with full descriptions.

The original cane chair used by the artist Sidney Paget for his illustration of Sherlock Holmes in "The Greek Interpreter."


More very soon, I promise! Thanks for letting me share. :)
eldritchhobbit: (Pros/driving in the car)
I'm back from Hogwarts Agnes Scott College, where I had a fantastic time lecturing. My colleagues redefined the word "brilliant": Daniel J. D'Amico convinced me that Alexis de Tocqueville would've loved the second season of The Walking Dead; James Padilioni, Jr.'s economic analysis of the Savoy Ballroom's history gave me a new heroine to research (Ada "Bricktop" Smith); and Robert Anthony Peters reminded me how many different and valuable lessons fairy-tales may teach us. The students were equally great.

The Dining Hall at Agnes Scott College


In other news...
* The first issue of The Signum Eagle, the newsletter of Signum University, is online now. Check it out! I'm grateful to Curtis Weyant, who wrote a great piece on my upcoming trip to Loncon 3/Worldcon.

* What exhibits would you most like to see at the new Museum of Science Fiction? This survey is your chance to tell the organizers!

I'm going to disappear now into a world of class and departmental preparation, so I can have "Science Fiction, Part I: From Modern Beginnings through the Golden Age," "Monsters and Mad Science," and other parts of my fall semester ready to go before I head off to London.


... One last note: in honor of my new UK blu-ray set of the first season of The Professionals, I'm revisiting the tie-in novelizations. (Apparently "Ken Blake" was a pseudonym for the science fiction author Kenneth Bulmer. How cool is that? I learn something new every day!) Here's a passage that sends me swimming in nostalgic delight.

"Anything -?" Cowley started to say. Then he gripped his leg, chopping his words off. The pain in the man got to Doyle and Bodie. They could feel the agony themselves, clawing and torturing them. Cowley's lips turned white. He held on. Doyle took the chief's glass, refilled it, handed it across without a word. Cowley drank, fighting the pain. He sat back and took a breath, looking up at the other two members of the team.

"Thanks..."

Bodie said savagely: "You should have it out, sir. The bullet in your leg. Get shot of it."

Cowley half-laughed, a mirthless death's-head grimace.

"Oh, they can do that, all right. They're wonderful, these days, so they tell me. But they can't -" Here a fresh bout of pain took him, and his voice trembled, before he fought it down and continued, grating the words out like a gravel-dredger biting rock. "But they can't guarantee they won't have to take the leg with it. What would you do?"

"Me?" said Bodie. "I'd have another drink, sir."

The answer appeared to amuse George Cowley, somewhere in that devious brain of his, and the three men continued to drink slowly as what Billy Turner had spilled out digested itself along with the Scotch.
- Where the Jungle Ends (The Professionals #1), Ken Blake
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

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

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

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

A Long Expected Party 3
eldritchhobbit: (LOTR/Emo Hobbit)
Just a quick fly-by post...

This is worth reading: "J.R.R. Tolkien Has A Touching Message For His Former Teachers In Newly Discovered Letter."

This also deserves a look: from NPR, "Harry Potter And The Forbidden Books."

J.R.R. Tolkien's dust jacket painting for The Hobbit
eldritchhobbit: (Farscape/Chiana)
Consider yourself invited to a free online Q&A session on June 5 for more information on my forthcoming "Science Fiction, Part I: From Modern Beginnings through the Golden Age" online course (Fall 2014) at Mythgard Institute.

I'd love to see you there!

eldritchhobbit: (HP/Geek Pride)
My Summer and Fall 2014 courses for Mythgard Institute are now trailer-iffic!

For the Summer 2014 semester (which begins next month), I'll be offering a course on the Harry Potter series called "Taking Harry Seriously."

Here's the trailer.



For the Fall 2014 semester, I'll be offering the first of my two-part series on science fiction: "Science Fiction, Part I: From Modern Beginnings through the Golden Age." (Note: "Part II: From the New Wave through Tomorrow" will be offered in Spring 2015.)

Here's the trailer.

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