24.01.26-28 OzMoot January 26-28, 2024

Date & Time

Start: January 26, 2024, 9:00 am

End: January 28, 2024, 5:00 pm


Harold Park Community Hall. 1 Dalgal Wy, Forest Lodge NSW 2034, Australia

Above All Shadows: Tolkien and Uncertain Futures

What: OzMoot 2024
When: January 26-28, 2024
Where: Harold Park Community Hall, 1 Dalgal Wy, Forest Lodge NSW 2034, Australia


Signum University and the Mythgard Institute, in partnership with The Tolkien Society and Hern Ennorath, invite you to join us in Sydney, Friday-Sunday, January 26-28, for our second annual OzMoot. Our theme this year is “Above All Shadows: Tolkien and Uncertain Futures”.

Featuring our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Corey Olsen, the Tolkien Professor!

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.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium evolved over his lifetime, during which he simultaneously enjoyed the happiness and fulfillment brought by his family, career, and love while enduring the darker challenges of being an orphan, traumatic war service, and the loss of his close friends. His stories resonate with us because of Tolkien’s implicit message that life offers ‘hope without guarantees’. We can never know how things will turn out, nor what the future will hold. However, Tolkien repeatedly compels us to presume that despair is a mistake in the face of the unknown, from Sam on the Stairs of Cirith Ungol to Húrin at the Fens of Serech, from Aragorn’s dilemma at Parth Galen to Turin’s lifetime struggles.

The title comes from Sam’s song of hope, “Above all shadows rides the Sun and Stars for ever dwell.”

All generations may face a creeping darkness, a challenge to deal with, or a threat to endure, sometimes of an existential nature. OzMoot invites papers that explore how Tolkien’s characters resist the darkness of despair even in the face of an uncertain future.

Papers may consider the following topics from Tolkien’s legendarium and other works, but are by no means limited to:

  • Despair and defeat
  • Hope and resistance
  • How characters persevere in the face of adversity
  • Choice and its consequences
  • The Unknown as an influence on character’s choices
  • How these themes impacted Tolkien’s life
  • The applicability of these themes on our own lives

Our call for proposals is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted!

Children under the age of 18 may attend for free when accompanied by an adult guardian.

Tea and light refreshments are included with on-site tickets.

Friday Schedule:

Please note that all listed schedule times are local to our venue in Sydney (Australian Eastern Daylight Time). Feel free to use The Time Zone Converter to assist you if you plan on attending remotely.

1:40 – 2:00pm: Greetings and Opening Remarks with Corey Olsen and Ilana Mushin

2:00 – 3:20pm: Nothing is Evil in the Beginning: Adapting the Falls of Melkor and Sauron in the Silmarillion Film Project with Corey Olsen, Ilana Mushin, and Phil Menzies

3:20 – 3:30pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Corey, Ilana, and Phil

3:30 – 4:10pm: Tengwar Calligraphy Workshop with Jenni Aldred

4:10 – 4:40pm: Afternoon Tea

4:40 – 5:30pm: Reading Circle with Trevor Bowen

5:30 – 5:50pm: Nature Relations of the Legendarium with Muhammed Alpaslan Tandirci

5:50 – 6:00pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Muhammed

6:00 – 6:20pm: Set-up and Preparation for Costume & Trivia Contest

6:20 – 8:00pm: OzMoot Costume & Trivia Contest

Saturday Schedule:

9:00 – 9:10am: Saturday Greetings with Corey Olsen

9:10 – 11:00am: Corey’s Fun and Spontaneous Textual Discussion Exercise with Corey Olsen

11:00 – 11:30am: Morning Tea

11:30 – 11:50am: The Little People and the Horn-Cry of Buckland with Lauren Brand

11:50am – 12:00pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Lauren

12:00 – 12:20pm: Lamentations in a Troubled World with Trevor Bowen

12:20 – 12:30pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Trevor

12:30 – 12:50pm: Trust is Unbroken/Broken: A Troubador Struggle with Ilana Mushin and Phil Menzies

12:50 – 1:00pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Ilana and Phil

1:00 – 2:00pm: Lunch Break

2:00 – 2:30pm: Tolkien, Faith, and the Final Eucatastrophe with Elizabeth Lyon

2:30 – 2:40pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Elizabeth

2:40 – 3:00pm: Memories of Another Land with Peter Kenny

3:00 – 3:10pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Peter

3:10 – 3:30pm: The Future of Creative Writing: Lessons From Tolkien with Julian Barr

3:30 – 3:40pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Julian

3:40 – 4;10pm: Afternoon Tea

4:10 – 5:10pm: The Lord of the Rings Online: A Demonstration with Corey Olsen

Sunday Schedule

10:00 – 10:10am: Sunday Greetings with Corey Olsen

10:10 – 11:10am: Keynote Address with Corey Olsen

11:10 – 11:20am: Ten-minute Q & A with Corey

11:20 – 11:40am: Morning Tea

11:40am – 12:00pm: “She was not conquered”: Morwen and Motherhood in Middle-earth with Ilana Mushin

12:0o – 12:10pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Ilana

12:10 – 12:30pm: To Enter the Perilous Realm or Not to Enter? That is the Question with Trudy Shannon

12:30 – 12:40pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Trudy

12:40 – 1:40pm: Lunch Break

1:40 – 2:00pm: Arda Measured with Jackson Mitchell-Bolton

2:00 – 2:10pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Jackson

2:10 – 2:30pm: Oaths and Promises: A Path Through Darkness and Uncertainty with Stephen Vrettos

2:30 – 2:40pm: Ten-minute Q & A with Stephen

2:40 – 3:00pm: Thank Yous and Goodbyes with Corey Olsen and Ilana Mushin

3:20 – 4:20pm: OzMoot After Party: What Comes Next – Building the Tolkien Fellowship in Australia

For questions leading up to the event, contact Regional Moot Coordinator Adam Beaton.

For questions about online participation, contact Digital Moot Coordinator Jean Prior.

A bright sun in a bright blue sky. Under the sky, a dark haze surrounds ominous mountains.

Above All Shadows: Tolkien and Uncertain Futures What: OzMoot 2024When: January 26-28, 2024Where: Harold Park Community Hall, 1 Dalgal Wy, Forest Lodge NSW 2034, Australia CLICK HERE TO REGISTER Signum University and the Mythgard Institute, in partnership with The Tolkien Society and Hern Ennorath, invite you to join us in Sydney, Friday-Sunday, January 26-28, for…