Signum University is pleased to welcome you to our first ever regional moot in Australasia, Friday January 27th – Sunday January 29th 2023, in Brisbane Australia, on the University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus.!
Tickets for on-site participation will be available ($50 US), as well as tickets to attend online ($25 US). All ticket holders will receive recordings from the event afterward.
We have chosen ‘Deep Roots’ as our theme, inspired by the line in the Aragorn poem in The Lord of the Rings: ‘Deep roots are not reached by the frost’. Our theme inspires us to explore the power of old stories in the context of young former British colonies like Australia, and like South Africa, where Tolkien was born.
Our theme considers questions such as: How and why are stories buried deep and how and why do sleeping stories awake?; How do stories connect us to our past and enable new considerations of our heritage? These questions echo in Tolkien’s early drive to write a Mythology to dedicate to England, steeped in the Anglo-Saxon tradition of his own heritage, and are often the underlying impetus for subcreation through Imaginative Fiction.
‘Deep roots’ also evokes the ancient connections to country and stories of the First Nations peoples of Australia, who represent the oldest continuing human culture on the planet, and the resilience and rediscovery of stories in the face of colonial dispossession. Our theme also embraces the ‘deep roots’ of migrants who maintain connections to their former homelands through stories, and (re)discovery of stories.
Our theme invites participants to explore how the theme of ‘Deep Roots’ is reflected in Tolkien’s own writing, and in other Imaginative Fiction; in Fairy Tale and Mythic traditions; in new media and across languages and cultures. We also invite creative works which also explore this theme to be presented or performed.
Corey Olsen, PhD, is our guest of honor. As the president of Signum University, Corey is the inspiring force behind a team of planners, educators, and visionaries who are revolutionizing education for the third milennium. In addition to teaching classes on J.R.R. Tolkien, Chaucer, and modern fantasy literature for Signum, Dr. Olsen has extended the concept of the digital classroom to include non-traditional outlets. Through the Mythgard Academy, he offers free weekly lectures on works of speculative fiction chosen by Signum University supporters, and he has embraced the “new literature” of cinema and video game adaptations through interactive programs such as The Silmarillion Film Project and in-game discussions of Lord of the Rings Online.
Please note that all times listed are local to the venue, so make adjustments as needed if you are joining us virtually.
As of now, all sessions will be in the Forgan Smith Building (East) (Building 1), E219. That is subject to change depending on attendance numbers, so watch this space for updates.
2:45-3:00, Welcome and opening remarks
3:00-3:45, Tolkien art and artifact, a show and tell by Peter Kenny
3:45-5:15, What makes an adaptation Tolkienian?: Q&A session with Corey Olsen and Ilana Mushin
Informal Pub night! Details to be announced in the event Slack.
9-11, Creative Writing Lessons from Tolkien, a workshop with Kim Wilkins
Learn to Write from J.R.R. Tolkien
Fantasy writer and Professor of Writing Kim Wilkins will take you through some of the lessons she’s learned from Tolkien, about worldbuilding, characterisation, and the use of sensory detail in creative writing. Improve your creative writing in one session by observing how a master of the craft did it.
Professor Kim Wilkins is the author of more than 30 novels and is published in more than 20 languages.
11-11:30, Morning tea
11:30-1, Panel led by Lucy Fraser, Topic: Deep Roots? Obsessions with Britain and Europe in Australian and Japanese Fantastic Arts
2-2:30, Ilana Mushin, Finrod the Mensch: A Jewish perspective
2:30-3, Cassidy Winter, LGBT Reading of Tolkien’s Works
3-3:30, Jenni Aldred, From the Ashes: Healing Hearts and Homes After Disaster
4-4:30, Charlie Tibbs, The Inspirations and Influences of Norse Mythology in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Works
4:30-5, Peter Kenny, Cellar Door – What’s in a name?
10:30-11:30, Welcome and keynote by Corey Olsen
12:30-1, Phillip Menzies, Great Music with Deeper Understanding: The Ainulindale
1-1:30, Lauren Brand, The Lost Children of Middle-earth
1:30-2, Trudy Shannon, Holding on to stories in a strange land
2:15-2:45, Julian Barr, Ashes of Olympus: An Adaptation of Vergil’s Aeneid
2:45-3:15, Joanne Anderton, Worlds of Our Own
3:15-4:15, A selection of readings on theme.
Closing remarks and farewells
Links to the event Slack and Zoom will be posted here, so watch this space!
If you would like to learn more about academic writing and presentations, we invite you to check out our Writer’s Forge program and the Signum Symposium video How to Present at Conferences with Sørina Higgins.
Grace College, dorm style accommodations, 65 Walcott Street, St Lucia QLD 4067
Benson Court Motel, 61 Benson Street, Toowong, Brisbane, 4066 QLD AU
Jephson Hotel, 63 Jephson St Toowong QLD 4066
Local points of interest:
There is something of interest for everyone in Brisbane, and to find ways to enjoy your time before or after the event, we invite you to visit this website.
NOTE: If you have questions, we are here to help!
For general questions leading up to the event, please contact our regional moot coordinator, Karita Alexander ([email protected]).
For questions about remote attendance and online participation, please contact our digital moot coordinator, Jean Prior ([email protected]).For questions about the local area or venue, please contact our local organizer, Prof. Ilana Mushin, ([email protected]) .
COVID At this time, the campus requires all visitors to be fully vaccinated, and we will update attendees on any changing requirements as the date of the event approaches.
Please keep an eye out here (and once you have registered, in your email InBox) for news when decisions are final.
For questions about this event, please contact regional moot coordinator, [email protected].