What is Signum Culture? A Signum Symposium hosted by Brenton Dickieson (Thursday, 2pm EST)

Signum University is a unique institution of learning. Beginning with the Mythgard Academy and a model of diving deep into some of our most engaging books, Signum University has developed an online, low-cost MA programme with majors in Tolkien Studies, Germanic Philology, Classical Literature, and Imaginative Literature. The Mythgard Academy has more than two dozen free online seminars on critical books, and Signum University has dozens of courses available for Anytime Audit or in class with other students and a live professor. It is a truly innovative experiment in education, and every semester we have students completing their MA thesis.

While there is an amazing programme–and I feel privileged to teach there–what is truly intriguing, I think, is what I call “Signum Culture.” There are a number of factors that make’s Signum’s “personality” peculiar to itself:

  • a digital, online university that uses local and national conferences to meet face-to-face
  • one of the leading programmes in Germanic philology, combining state-of-the-art technology with literature from the deep past
  • a campus highly invested in literature that is often ignored in the academy
  • scholarship that both resists the normal trends of the academic community and still seeks to be rigorous, integrated, and excellent by global standards
  • an American-centred community in the midst of an international group of readers who are highly invested in British literature (Lewis, Tolkien, Shakespeare, Arthurian literature, etc.)
  • a school that is willing to take risks for the sake of learning
  • an anti-hierarchical school that still honours learning and experience

And these are just a few features on my mind that make Signum and unusual and effective place to be. Being curious, I decided to host a roundtable discussion on Signum culture. In Thursday’s Signum Symposium, “What is Signum Culture?”, students, alumni, and faculty will gather online and talk about what makes Signum special, how we define our collective philosophy, and what it means to be part of a digital community of scholars.

There will be an opportunity to contribute to the conversation as an audience member, either through text or microphone. What do you think Signum culture is about? What makes us special as we sit on the edge of the digital education frontier? What can an online school do that rooted, located universities can’t? We would love to hear your voice, but please note that if you chose to participate using your microphone, your voice will be recorded.

“What is Signum Culture?” is going live on Thursday, Dec 12th, 2pm Eastern. To sign up, click here.

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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