Wednesday, August 17, 2022

CALL FOR PAPERS: Online Midwinter Seminar 2023 - Fantasy Goes to Hell: Depictions of Hell in Modern Fantasy Texts

The CFP deadline is November 15, 2022.

The Mythopoeic Society invites paper submissions for an online conference that focuses on the various depictions of the concept of hell in modern fantasy works. Aspects of this topic might include but are certainly not limited to any of the following: 

  • The mystical spiritual descent: what can be gained from a descent to hell
  • The escape from hell: What is saved, and what is left behind
  • The harrowing of hell: the rescue of others from hell
  • The pact with hell: self-damnation or turning the tables 
  • The intersection of race, racism, and hell
  • Hellish places: Mordor, Charn, the Upside Down, the post-apocalyptic world 
  • The influence of fantastic ur-texts about Hell: Aeneas’s visit in The Aeneid; Dante’s Inferno; Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus; Milton’s Paradise Lost; Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit; the art of Hieronymus Bosch; Mozart’s Don Giovanni
  • “This IS the Bad Place!”: The primary world as Hell

Papers from a variety of critical perspectives and disciplines are welcome. We are interested in ANY form of media — text, graphic novels, television, movies, music and music videos, games — as long as it can be described as fantasy and includes a hell or its denizens.
Some texts to consider:

  • C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce
  • Charles Williams’s All Hallows’ Eve
  • Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens (book and television series)
  • Lois McMaster Bujold’s Five Gods series
  • Music videos: Lil Nas X’s “Montero” and “Industry Baby”
  • Television series: Buffy the Vampire SlayerAngelLovecraft CountrySupernaturalThe Good Place
  • Movies: Get OutDogma
  • Tanith Lee’s Tales From the Flat Earth series (Death’s Master et seq.)
  • Works by Vaclev Havel, Franz Kafka, Nikolai Gogol, George Orwell
  • Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (graphic novels and television series)
  • Walter Wangerin, Jr.’s Dun Cow trilogy
  • Evan Dahm’s Harrowing of Hell (graphic novel)

Each paper will receive a 50-minute slot to allow time for questions, but individual papers should be timed for oral presentation in 40 minutes maximum. Two or three presenters who wish to present short, related papers may also share a one-hour slot. Participants are encouraged to submit papers chosen for presentation at the conference to the special issue of Mythlore devoted to this theme. All papers should conform to the MLA Style Manual current edition.

Proposals should be approximately 200 words in length and should be sent to both co-chairs: oms-chair@mythcon.org and oms-co-chair@mythcon.org.


More information can be found on the OMS event page

Sunday, July 31, 2022

2022 Mythopoeic Awards Winners Announced

 The Mythopoeic Society has announced the winners of the 2022 Mythopoeic Awards. The winners of this year’s awards were announced during Mythcon 52, held July 29th through August 1st, 2022, in Albuquerque, NM.


The winners are:
  • Adult Fantasy: Jo Walton, Or What You Will
  • Children's Fantasy (tie): Lori M. Lee, Pahua and the Soul Stealer, and Eden Royce, Root Magic
  • Inklings Studies: Holly Ordway, Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages}
  • Myth and Fantasy Studies: Philip Ball, The Modern Myths: Adventures in the Machinery of the Popular Imagination
The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi-volume, or single-author story collection for adults published during 2021 that best exemplifies the spirit of the Inklings. Books are eligible for two years after publication if selected as a finalist during the first year of eligibility. Books from a series are eligible if they stand on their own; otherwise, the series becomes eligible the year its final volume appears. 

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature honors books for beginning readers to age thirteen, in the tradition of The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia. Rules for eligibility are otherwise the same as for the Adult literature award. The question of which award a borderline book is best suited for will be decided by consensus of the committees. Books for mature “Young Adults” may be moved to the Adult literature category.

The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies is given to books on Tolkien, Lewis, and/or Williams that make significant contributions to Inklings scholarship. For this award, books first published during the last three years (2019–2021) are eligible, including finalists for previous years. 

The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies is given to scholarly books on other specific authors in the Inklings tradition, or to more general works on the genres of myth and fantasy. The period of eligibility is three years, as for the Inklings Studies award.

For more information about the Mythopoeic Awards, please contact the Awards Administrator: Dennis Wise, awards@mythsoc.org

Full press release may be found on the Mythopoeic Society's website.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Online Midwinter Seminar: The Inklings and Horror: Fantasy's Dark Corners - Preliminary Schedule

We're excited to announce the preliminary schedule of our upcoming virtual midwinter seminar. It promises to be a very full and inspiring weekend. If you haven't signed up yet, there is still time to join us! Go to the OMS event page for more information.

OMS Presentation Schedule (subject to change)

  • “Tolkien as a Folk Horror Author” - Monica Sanz
  • “Adoring the Head of Alcasan: Posthuman Horror and Anticipatory Corpse in Lewis’s That Hideous Strength” - Mark Brians
  • “Charles Williams's P'o-L'u - the Cthulhu Connection” - Eric Rauscher
  • “‘Delight in Horror’: Charles Williams and Russell Kirk on Hell and the Supernatural” - Camilo Peralta
  • “White Shadows, Black Riders and Restless Wights: Undead Horror Monsters in the Fantasy Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin” - Franz Klug
  • “Coffin Births, Eclipse Babies, and Test-tube Wombs: Unnatural Birth in the World of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher Series” - Kristine Larsen
  • “Monstrous Feminine, Deviant Mother: Tolkien’s Shelob and the Grotesque Maternal” - Sara Brown
  • “Environmental Horror and Restoration: Tolkien and Today” - Jessica Dickinson Goodman & Dr. Caitlin Rottler
  • “Fog on the Barrow-Downs: Horror through the Liminal Sublime” - Rhianne Grieve & Lorianne Reuser
  • “Tolkien, Cline, and the Quest for a Silmaril” - Tom Ue & James Munday
  • “Nature and Horror in Tolkien’s Legendarium” - Julia Bowers
  • “Like Father, Like Son? Representations of the Ori- gins of Merlin in Modern Fantasy Fiction” - Michael Torregrossa
  • “The Overlooked Vampire: Might MacDonald’s Lilith be Repopularized?” - AJ Prufrock
  • “The Story, the Narrator and the Reader: Mediated Horror in C. S. Lewis’s Narniad” - William Thompson
  • “‘Shivering Trees’: Horror and Monstrosity in Selected Stories from Tolkien’s The Silmarillion” - Elise McKenna

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Mythopoeic Awards 2022: Call for Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2022 Mythopoeic Awards

 

For our process, there are four categories of awards, and nominations are made by individual members of the Mythopoeic Society. Any one member may nominate a book to any award category; selections of finalists and award recipients will be made by the relevant committee. Each committee is comprised by volunteers, and any member of the Society may volunteer for one committee or for several.

 

Authors, publishers, and/or their representatives may not nominate their own books, nor are books published by Mythopoeic Press eligible. The Mythopoeic Society does not accept or review unsolicited manuscripts. To nominate books, volunteer for committees, or ask questions about the Mythopoeic Awards process, please contact the Mythopoeic Awards Administrator – see my contact information below.

 

The deadline for nominations (limit of five per person per category, please!), and/or for volunteering for a committee(s), is February 15, 2022. When making a nomination, please include the author’s name, the title of the work, the publisher’s name, and the year of publication.

 


 

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature is given to the fantasy novel, multi-volume novel, or single-author story collection for adults published during the previous year that best exemplifies “the spirit of the Inklings”. Books are eligible for two years after publication unless short-listed during their first year of eligibility. Books from a series are eligible if they stand on their own; otherwise, the series becomes eligible the year its final volume appears.

 

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature was established in 1992 and honors books for younger readers (up to age thirteen) in the tradition of The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia. Rules for eligibility are otherwise the same as for the Adult literature award. The question of which category a borderline book belongs will be decided by a consensus of the committees. Books for mature “Young Adults” may be moved to the Adult literature category. From 1971 until 1991, we gave one award for all fantasy literature.

 

The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies is given to books on J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and/or Charles Williams that make significant contributions to Inklings scholarship. For this award, books first published during the previous three years are eligible. Short-listed books from the previous year are automatically re-nominated for the next year’s long list.

 

The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth & Fantasy Studies is given to scholarly books on other specific authors in the Inklings tradition, or to more general works on the genres of myth and fantasy. The period of eligibility is three years, as for the Inklings Studies award. Short-listed books from the previous year are automatically re-nominated for the next year’s long list.

 


 

Winners of the 2022 Mythopoeic Awards will be announced at the 52nd Annual Mythopoeic Conference (Mythcon 52), to be held July 29-Aug 1, 2022, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

 

Please contact the Awards Administrator, Dennis Wise, to nominate books, volunteer for committees, or ask questions about the Mythopoeic Awards process.

 

Dr. Dennis Wise

University of Arizona
awards@mythsoc.org


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

CFP: Online Winter Seminar -- The Inklings and Horror: Fantasy's Dark Corners

The Mythopoeic Society invites paper submissions for an online conference that focuses on the connections between and among Inkling authors and the literary tropes of the horror sub-genre of speculative fiction, to be held through Zoom and Discord February 4-5, 2022. Aspects of this topic might include any of the following as well as other approaches not mentioned here: the utopian and dystopian dimensions of fantasy worlds, including those of the Inklings, that include horrific elements; the role of fear in idealized world building, including the works of the Inklings; the demonic and the angelic, with reference to the works of one or more of the Inklings; monstrosity, gore, and/or body horror (possibly contrasted with otherness and/or beauty); the redeemable and the unredeemable; the appeal of dread in Inkling fantasy and in horror examples; the horrific within the fantastic and the fantastic within the horrific, including in the works of the Inklings; the horror of otherness within the sameness of the fantastic; horrific race and/or gender elements in fantastic narratives, including those of the Inklings; horror as the despoliation of the fantastic. Papers from a variety of critical perspectives and disciplines are welcome.

Each paper will receive a 50-minute slot to allow time for questions, but individual papers should be timed for oral presentation in 40 minutes maximum. Two or threepresenters who wish to present short, related papers may also share a one-hour slot. Participants are encouraged to submit papers chosen for presentation at the conference to Mythlore, the refereed journal of the Mythopoeic Society (http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore/). All papers should conform to the MLA Style Manual current edition.

Paper abstracts (250 word maximum), along with contact information, should be sent to the Papers Coordinator, Online Winter Seminar, at the following address by 15 November, 2021: <mythiccircle@mythsoc.org>. Please include your AV requests and the projected time needed for your presentation.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Mythcon51 Preliminary Schedule

We're excited to announce the preliminary schedule of our upcoming virtual conference. It promises to be a very full and inspiring weekend. If you haven't signed up yet, there is still time to join us! Go to www.mythcon.org for more information.

Mythcon51 Presentation Schedule (subject to change)

Saturday:

  • Philology and the Lived Imagination: Vico, Collingwood, and Tolkien - Reno Lauro
  • Cities and Strongholds of Middle-earth Part 1 - Cami Agan, et al.
  • Q&A with Mythopoeic Award Winners
  • Her Enchanted Hair’: Rossetti, ‘Lady Lilith,’ and the Victorian Fascination with Hair as Influences on Tolkien - Kathryn Colvin
  • (Un)Fair(ly) Unknown: New and Neglected Arthurian Television Programming - Michael Torregrossa, et al.
  • The Mythopoeic Fantasy and Scholarly Awards Discussions - David Lenander
  • The Keystone or the Cornerstone - Donald Willams
  • Adam’s Task: Naming and Sub-creation in Good Omens - Janet Brennan Croft
  • Transmedia Mythopoeia: Towards an Interactive Mythology - Brian Thomson
  • A Saga Re-Written: The Character of Odin and J.R.R. Tolkien's Addition of Eucatastrophe in "The New Lay of the Volsungs" - Matthew Gidney
  • Writing Against the Grain: T. Kingfisher's Feminist Mythopoeic Fantasy - Robin Anne Reid
  • Mythopoeic Dungeons & Dragons - Megan Abrahamson
  • Finding and Organizing Tolkien’s Invented Languages - Eileen Moore
  • The Mythic, the Fantastic, and the Alien - El Hudson
  • The Fanastic Short Story - Vicki Ronn
  • Back to Camelot: 21st-century Reinterpretations of the Arthurian Mythos - Jennifer Spirko
  • Mythopoeia in American Gods - Danica Stojanovic
  • Other Than Him: Superman as the Alien That Made Good - Roy Schwartz
  • Spoilers & Sequels; Bifurcated Fandoms in the Age of Adaptation - Joe Young, et al.
  • Habla Amigo y Entra: Tolkien and the language of wonder - Martha Celis Mendoza, et al.
  • Realizing History: Tolkien and the Desire called Marx - Robert Tally

Sunday:

  • The Philosophy and Theology of Fairy-Stories:Fantasy, Escape, Recovery, and Consolation - Giovanni Costabile
  • Cities and Strongholds of Middle-earth Part 2 - Cami Agan, et al.
  • Fairy Tale Retellings for the Modern World - Sarena Ulibarri
  • From Malacandra to Mars: Representations of the Red Planet in C. S. Lewis, Robert Sawyer, and Andy Weir - Bill Thompson
  • ‘Descensus Ad Inferos’: Dante's Mythic Nekyia Journey in The Inferno - Ron Boyer
  • How Mythopoeic Stories Carve Space For Change - Rivera Sun

  • “Long Anguish and Self-Murdering Thought”: Gollum and the Figure of Jealousy in The Faerie Queene - Anne Acker
  • The Speculative Worldbuilding of ADÁL’s Blueprints for a Nation - Matt Goodwin
  • Eärendil’s Errand and “Errantry” - Janet Brennan Croft, David Emerson, David Bratman, Verlyn Flieger
  • Q&A with Unofficial Mythsoc Historian Lee Speth - Lynne Darga
  • The Personhood of Nature in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Legendarium - Sophia Parrila
  • Those Who See the Unseen West - Scott Hodgman
  • My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me - John Rosegrant
  • Faerie Reality in The Spiral Dance by Rodrigo Garcia y Robertson - Robert Treday
  • Lil Nas X’s Montero: A Visual Mythology - Alicia Fox-Lenz, Jessica Dickinson Goodman
  • Sterner Stuff; Sansa Stark and the System of Gothic Fantasy - Joseph Young
  • Spray-painting the Sistine Chapel: Aesthetic Problems in Leaf by Niggle - John Holmes
  • Tolkien, Race and Racism - Robin Reid, Megan Abrahamson, Helen Young, Craig Franson, Will Sherwood

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Mythcon 51: A VIRTUAL “HALFLING” MYTHCON Progress Report

July 31 - August 1, 2021 


Get ready for Mythcon 51, the first Mythcon where you don’t have to leave your house to go “there and back again.” This year we are scheduling over 50 events, including papers, panels, roundtables, and alternative programming such as games and watch parties, over the course of our two-day conference. 

Times

All conference times will be written in Mountain US Time Zone (UTC −07:00) as the default, but Time Zone calculators will be included wherever possible: look for “What time is that for me?” links.  

Programming of some kind will run Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am to 9:00pm both days to accommodate people from all corners of the globe, with the more formal programming from 10am to 5pm. We hope you’ll attend what you can! 

What time is the conference for me? 

Important times to get on your calendar now include: 

  • Tech Check drop in hours, for those unfamiliar or less familiar with our two major platforms, Zoom and Discord. The Mythcon 51 committee is handling the technology for this event ourselves, not paying for extra tech support. 

  • Members Meeting

Zoom: This Year’s Virtual Conference Medium

Many of us got very familiar with Zoom over the past year. Whether we like it or not, it has become the most widely used platform for virtual conferencing, and the Mythopoeic Society has joined the twenty-first century in purchasing a Pro suite for this conference. 

We have organized the conference into several “tracks”—just like you’d have different “rooms” where you would attend programming at an in-person conference. For this conference, this means you will get several Zoom links as stand-ins for the different rooms, and you’ll pop in and out of them depending on the programming you’re interested in. 

Learn more about Zoom here. 

Discord: This Year’s Virtual Conference “Space”

The Mythopoeic Society has had our own server on Discord since 2020. For this conference, we will add Conference-Only areas that only registered members can see. 

So, instead of checking into a physical hotel, check out our Discord server! 

You can do so at any time before the conference, giving yourself plenty of time to get comfortable with the “space.” Follow this link: https://discord.gg/x3QTt6dbxd and sign up for the free application. It can run in a browser or be downloaded as an app for mobile or computer. If you have any trouble with the invite, you can contact any of the Mythsoc Stewards (Alicia Fox-Lenz or Megan Abrahamson will be your best bet). 

You can attend this conference without getting involved in the Discord. Registered members will be sent the same Zoom links and the times when to log in for programming they are interested in. Only a very little alternative/evening programming such as watch parties and games will be Discord-only and inaccessible through Zoom.

However, we think Discord will make Mythcon 51 a much richer experience. Discord users will be able to converse in between panels, either chatting by instant message text or by opening up a video chat with friends, while Zoom-only users will have to “vacate” the space after their panel, paper, or roundtable. Discord users can share links, continue conversations or start new ones, and get reminders in real time about when panels are beginning. In short, you don’t have to join us on Discord, but we hope you will. 

Learn more about Discord here. 

Other changes due to the Virtual Model

We are introducing a new model of Panels this year which we are calling “Roundtables.” These were designed to provide more active programming options mixed in with the passive listening and asking maybe one question at the end model. 

These Roundtables will encourage audience participation, and will be discussion-driven rather than presentation-driven. If you show up to a topic labeled “Roundtable,” you can expect to be asked to weigh in—what a great way to talk with fellow Mythies we haven’t seen in over a year!

Additionally, formal papers and panels will be asked to keep their programming to under an hour, ideally 45 minutes. This is to try to reduce that “Zoom fatigue” we’ve all been battling, and many of us continue to battle! 

Preparing for Mythcon 51

  • Register for Mythcon by July 17th to ensure you don’t miss an update! 

  • Join the Mythopoeic Society Discord at https://discord.gg/x3QTt6dbxd

  • Make sure you’re running the latest version of Zoom here.  

  • If you are presenting or leading a panel, roundtable, or other programming, keep an eye out for an email with tips for running your session. All panels will have at least one Mythcon 51 committee member in attendance to help with technical difficulties. 

  • Plan to attend one of the Tech Check drop in sessions if you’re uncomfortable with any of the software. 

  • Get excited for this “Halfling” Mythcon!