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Mythgard Midatlantic Speculative Fiction Symposium
When: Saturday, Sept. 24 – Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016
Where:  University of Maryland
Cost: Not to exceed $30 per person – exact amount TBD
(additional donation suggested; does not include meals)


The Third Annual Mythgard Midatlantic Speculative Fiction Symposium – a.k.a., MidMoot – will take place on Sept. 24 – 25, 2016. The weekend closest to Frodo and Bilbo’s birthdays is the perfect time to get together with Mythgardians and Signum students from across the world and discuss fantasy, science fiction, and other speculative literature.

Signum University President Dr. Corey Olsen will be in attendance, as will Dr. Verlyn Flieger and other guests of honor. Watch this page for additional details.

There will also be an optional Saturday night meal with a cost not to exceed $50 per person.

You can also join the Mythgard Midatlantic group on Facebook to keep abreast as details develop.

Call For Papers

The Mythgard Institute at Signum University is pleased to announce the third annual Mythgard Midatlantic Speculative Fiction Symposium (known affectionately as MidMoot III) on September 24-25, 2016 at the University of Maryland at College Park. Additional details about the symposium will be announced in the summer, including special guests. We are accepting proposals now for short presentations intended to foster discussion. Presentation topics are welcome in the following areas:

  • Speculative Fiction
  • History of Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Critical Approaches to Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • The Inklings
  • Contemporary Speculative Fiction Authors
  • The Interplay between Speculative Fiction and Other Literary Genres
  • The Future of Speculative Fiction

To propose a paper, please submit a 100 to 200-word abstract that includes your name, email address, and academic affiliation (if any), along with the title of your presentation. Individual presentations should be around 15 minutes long, leaving an additional 15 minutes for discussion. so please plan accordingly. Abstracts should be sent to by July 31, 2016. Acceptances will be sent by August 15. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you can enjoy the symposium with us!

Symposium Schedule




Speaker Bios

Verlyn Flieger is an author, editor, and professor emerita in the Department of English at the University of Maryland at College Park. She teaches courses in comparative mythology, medieval literature and the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. Flieger holds an M.A. (1972) and Ph.D. (1977) from The Catholic University of America, and has been associated with the University of Maryland since 1976. In 2012, Flieger began teaching Arthurian studies at Signum University. Her best-known books are Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World (1983; revised edition, 2002); A Question of Time: J. R. R. Tolkien’s Road to Faerie, which won the 1998 Mythopoeic Award for Inklings studies; Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien’s Mythology (2005) and Green Suns and Faërie (2012), a collection of her published essays on Tolkien. She has edited a critical edition of Tolkien’s short work Smith of Wootton Major, and is co-editor with Douglas A. Anderson of the critical edition of On Fairy-Stories, Tolkien’s seminal essay on myth and fantasy. She is also editor of Tolkien’s early short story, The Story of Kullervo, to be published August 27 by HarperCollins. She won the Mythopoeic Award for Inklings Studies a second time in 2002 for Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays on The History of Middle-earth, which she co-edited with Carl F. Hostetter. Flieger has also published young adult fantasy novels, including Pig Tale andThe Inn at Corbies’ Caww, as well as short stories. With Michael D. C. Drout and David Bratman, she is co-editor ofTolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review.”

Corey Olsen is the President of Signum University and the Mythgard Institute. On his teaching website, The Tolkien Professor, Professor Olsen brings his scholarship on Tolkien to the public, seeking to engage a wide and diverse audience in serious intellectual and literary conversation. His website features a series of detailed lectures on The Hobbit, and recordings of the weekly meetings of the Silmarillion Seminar, which has been working its way through the Silmarillion chapter by chapter, as well as more informal Q&A sessions with listeners. His book, Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, was published by Houghton Mifflin in September 2012. Corey Olsen obtained his B.A in English and Astrophysics from Williams College in 1996, going on to Columbia University where he obtained his M.A. in 1997, M.Phil in 2000, and his Ph.D in medieval literature in 2003. Upon graduation from Columbia University, Olsen obtained teaching positions at Temple University, Columbia University, Nyack College and Washington College. His undergraduate and graduate teaching subjects included J.R.R. Tolkien, Arthurian literature, Chaucer, and Sir Thomas Malory.