Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mythcon 37

For the second time ever, I will be attending Mythcon, the annual conference of The Mythopoeic Society.

The Mythopoeic Society is a non-profit international literary and educational organization for the study, discussion, and enjoyment of fantastic and mythic literature, especially the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams (aka The Inklings). Mythlore is the Society's peer-reviewed journal that publishes scholarly articles on mythic and fantastic literature. Mythlore is part of the MLA database available in UMF's library via FirstSearch (in case you want to look it up).

The Society gives out four awards each year at Mythcon:
  • The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature
  • The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature
  • The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inkling Studies
  • The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies
This year's Mythcon is at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. It's about 20 degrees hotter than Michigan. My first Mythcon was Mythcon 35 in Ann Arbor two years ago. Since it was close to home, I drove home each night and missed all the evening fun and entertainment, so I'm excited about attending and presenting a paper.

The theme of this year's Mythcon is "The Map & The Territory: Maps and Landscapes in Fantasy with a track on Native American Fantasy/Native Americans in Fantasy." I'm very interested in the Native American aspect because we will be in Cherokee country. My grandmother was part Cherokee and I know very little about that part of my heritage. I'm hoping to find good info on the Cherokee while we are there.

My paper, "The Light of Stars: Frodo's Elvish Air," has nothing to do with maps or Native Americans but Tolkien papers are always appropriate. I'm pretty happy with the draft I'll be reading and looking forward to lots of good feedback from Tolkien scholars who are even geekier than I.

I'll be traveling with Judy Kollmann. I'm a little nervous about flying (terrorists, actually, not flying itself) but I'm sure having a friend to travel with will make me more relaxed. We leave tomorrow (Thurs., Aug. 3) and get home Monday (Aug. 7). Mythcon itself is Aug. 4-7. I'll try to post daily so you can share our Mythcon adventures, even if I have to post them all after we get back home.

No comments: