BayMoot 2018

Date & Time




Signum University and Mythgard Institute are proud to announce the inaugural BayMoot 2018, a symposium dedicated to exploring the intersection between culture and speculative fiction on Saturday, August 18, 2018. A mixture of paper presentations and discussion sessions will be offered along with a keynote address by guest of honor Dr. Corey Olsen, “The Tolkien Professor.”


A light breakfast and lunch are included in the registration price.

  • Registration for this event is $40 per person.
  • Registration for the event will close on July 31 August 11

Register for BayMoot


  • 8:45 – Breakfast Service Starts
  • 9:00 – Welcome
  • 9:15 – Paper Session 1
    • Alyssa House-Thomas: “Spoiler Alert: Breaking the Fourth Wall in Anglo-Saxon and Tolkienian Historical Romance”
    • Sharon Hsu: “‘What is this thing called the Oxford manner?’: Social Control in Gaudy Night
    • Steven Shirley: “Symbiosis: The reimagining of Elven Culture and Aesthetics” – Tattoo Presentation
    • Jessica Takakjian: “‘F*** the Patriarchy: Female Transgression in Isabel Quntero’s Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
  • 10:45 – Break
  • 11:00 – Paper Session 2
    • Becca Tarnas: “The Synchronicity of the Two Red Books: Jung, Tolkien, and the Imaginal Realm”
    • Sharon Hsu: “The Panoptic Prison in Paddington 2
  • 12:30 – Lunch
  • 1:30 – Corey Olsen: Plenary Address: “Explorers from the Land of Spare Oom”
  • 2:30 – Break
  • 2:45 – Paper Session 3
    • Art Noose: “Starstruck” – creative story about visiting Le Guin
    • Luke Shelton: “Tolkien’s Young Readers: Breaking Boundaries by Reading”
    • Various: “General and Specific Inquiries”
  • 4:00 – Closing Remarks

Area Information and Accommodations

Mills College, is located a little over 5 miles away from the Oakland International Airport in Oakland, CA.  BayMoot will be held in Lucie Stern Hall on the Mills College campus. There are a number of casual and sit-down restaurants within a ten-minute walk or drive from campus for those who wish to have dinner in the area after the conference concludes. Oakland can be an expensive city for hotels and booking in advance is highly recommended. Generally cheaper deals are found by staying outside the city center and commuting in, though obviously this comes at a cost to convenience. Many of the large chain hotels near the airport are between ten and fifteen minutes away from campus by car. AirBnB is a less traditional option, but there are several locations in the area which offer an affordable alternative to hotels, especially when booking with a small group. If you have any questions about accommodations at the conference, please email us at [email protected].

Call for Papers/Panels/Presentations

The call for papers/panels/presentations is now closed.

No later than June 21, 2018, send an abstract of under 200 words to [email protected] for a paper, panel, or presentation as described below.

ACADEMIC PAPERS: In The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin, Genly Ai encounters a world where the inhabitants are free to select and alter their gender. In The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Frodo goes on a transgressive quest to destroy the Ruling Ring. We seek proposals for flash-paper presentations (between 5 and 15 minutes) that rigorously investigate either depictions of transgression of, transmission across, or destruction of barriers in literature (especially speculative fiction). These barriers can be literary or metaphorical. Questions and topics that may be considered include the following:

  • Why are some characters who cross boundaries or live on the margins portrayed as monstrous?
  • Do certain genres lend themselves to tales of transgression? Are transmission and crossing built into the trajectories of certain genres? Do some genres complicate these concepts?
  • Has literature been shown to aid individuals who are marginalized?
  • Has literature been shown to contribute to the healing of cultural othering or to the causes of social or racial reconciliation?
  • Does literature expand or constrict the idea of community?
  • Does literature ever instigate, intensify, or contribute to the construction of barriers?
  • Do certain texts challenge literary borders, like those between genres or age groups?

DISCUSSION PANELS: If you and a couple of friends or colleagues would like to generate a dialogue about a topic which falls under the symposium theme, we encourage you to submit a discussion panel proposal. Discussion panel proposals should include the names of each panel member and a description (fewer than 200 words) of the panel topic.

CREATIVE PRESENTATIONS: In addition to paper presentations and  panel discussions, there will also be room for short, original creative presentations (up to 10 minutes each) that explore or demonstrate the same questions and topics listed above. These presentations may include:

  • Original creative writing, such as poetry, short fiction, or short creative nonfiction
  • Performances of original musical compositions
  • Display and discussion of original works of visual art

Creative Presentation proposals should provide a short description (fewer than 200 words) of the presentation – including genre, medium, technical requirements, and connection to the symposium’s theme – and should also include a sample of the creator’s original work in the same genre/medium.


Join Signum University and Mythgard Institute for BayMoot 2018, a symposium dedicated to exploring the intersection between culture and speculative fiction, on Saturday, August 18, 2018.