Hi friends. As some of you know, I do a lot of teaching online. I have been a “distance education instructor” in a variety of forms for 16 years now. I thought this month on Fridays I would share some of the places where I do my teaching.
As I have blogged about it a few times (see here and here), many know that I teach with Signum University. Over a decade of growing our program, we have become experts in digital education that concerns deep topics. Our online MA in Literature and Linguistics is not accidental or thrown together, but a creative and high-quality education with world-class scholars and teachers. Our very popular linguistics program specializes in Germanic Philology, including language learning and close reading of ancient texts. And our literature program–where I teach–draws deeply from both classical and medieval sources as well as imaginative literature in the world today, with a special focus on Tolkien Studies.
Signum is fully online and highly accessible, offering relatively low-cost MA classes with leading scholars in the field as lecturers and experienced preceptors to lead small group discussions. I quite love the model that Signum uses, and I am not surprised that our design team has become a leading voice in online education during this very strange social distancing time (see here, including tips and a long free training video).
We have some great courses coming up this summer and fall. You can see the full list here, but I will highlight a few of the courses.
I am always going to boost John Garth’s work. His Tolkien and the Great War is one of the most important texts in the field, carefully researched and well written, and thus the background to much work about Tolkien–including the 2019 biopic. To be able to listen to him lecture and discuss the relevant materials is a great treat and thus an awesome chance for a summer course.
This summer we have acclaimed professor Amy H. Sturgis returning this summer to teach a brand new course, The Meaning of Star Wars. What a great opportunity to really delve deep into the Star Wars universe in film, literature, scholarship, and pop culture. You can also take her brilliant course, The Potter Saga, this coming January. That one makes me jealous as I’d love to teach through Harry Potter.
I am a big fan of Dr. Dimitra Fimi’s work. Honestly, I have no idea how she manages to get everything done! Two of her courses are being offered this year.
This summer you can take Celtic Myth in Children’s Fantasy, first taught in 2014 and being taught this semester with some of our most popular preceptors, Maggie Parke & Sparrow Alden. This is a survey course rolling through a great deal of brilliant material, including :
- Ancient Irish Tales translated by Tom Peete Cross and Clark Harris Slover
- Early Irish Myths and Sagas by Jeffrey Gantz
- The Mabinogion translated by Sioned Davies
- The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O’Shea
- The New Policeman by Kate Thompson
- The Wizard Children of Finn by Mary Tannen
- The Lost Legend of Finn by Mary Tannen
- The Owl Service by Alan Garner
- The Snow Spider Trilogy by Jenny Nimmo
- The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
- The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper
Awesome. I would also encourage you to check out a course that I was pleased to serve as preceptor for back in 2016, Folkloric Transformations: Vampires & Big Bad Wolves. There are lots of ways that Dr. Fimi could demonstrate a folkloric approach to modern fiction, but in this course, she chose vampire fiction and stories about wolves and werewolves. Ranging from the mythic to the sardonic, from the creepy to the alluring, there is a stellar reading and viewing list:
- Richard Matheson, I Am Legend
- Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire
- Joss Whedon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Charlaine Harris, Dead Until Dark
- Tomas Alfredson, Let the Right One In
- Angela Carter, “The Company of Wolves” (in The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories)
- Neil Jordan, The Company of Wolves
- Francesca Lia Block, “Wolf” (in The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold)
- Matthew Bright, Freeway
- Catherine Storr, Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf
- Roald Dahl, “Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf” (in Revolting Rhymes)
- Tale of Tales, The Path
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
If you are thinking about deepening your reading or even beginning a full MA program, feel free to send me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.