Thesis Theater: Ashley Thomas and Eric Lynch

Date & Time




On Wednesday, September 27, at 8 PM ET, recent graduates of Signum University’s M.A. in Language & Literature Ashley Thomas and Eric Lynch will present their theses.

Ashley Thomas

Ashley Thomas is a freelance writer, writing under the name, The Nerdy Blogger. At Signum University, she has studied under the Imaginative Literature program and also serves as Signum University’s Convention Coordinator.

In today’s film and television landscape, it is difficult to find a completely original property amid the slew of reboots, adaptations, and sequels. The popularity of these types of stories is not new, but not just in the sense of the works being a remake or adaptation, but is also a medieval concept of storytelling. Medieval storytelling and intertextuality have risen to the forefront of popular culture today because of such works. What is interesting is that many of these works have “geek” roots. Be they comic books, written word or filmic representations of previous science fiction and fantasy stories, it is no longer taboo to be a geek in today’s culture. Stranger Things is the embodiment of this movement. Drawing from a wealth of source material, the series embraces prominent works of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more, wrapping them in the nostalgic package of the 1980s. The series serves as a case study to discuss how the medieval storytelling motif combined with intertextuality has influenced the mainstreaming of geek culture. Speculation on the future of the series and how this type of storytelling may influence current and future works is also discussed.

Eric Lynch

Eric Lynch is an avid history, fantasy and sci-fi fan who has been studying at Signum since it first opened. In his free time, Eric spends his time with his wife and children or looking for the next best series to read. Favorite series include The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, the Foundation Series by Issac Asimov, and the Richard Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium has invited a variety of scholarly analyses since The Hobbit was first published in 1937. One area that appears to be under explored is how Tolkien’s use of real-world history has informed key events in his fictional world. In this essay we will explore how the secondary-world histories of Numenor, Gondor and Arnor are, in part, a retelling of the primary world’s myths and history of Atlantis, Rome and Byzantium. It will also explore how Aragorn’s Reunited Kingdom is, in a way, the fulfillment of the classical and medieval European desire for a resurgent Roman Empire to reunify a fractured west.

Signum University Thesis Theater

Join us on September 27, at 8 pm ET, for a Thesis Theater with Ashley Thomas and Eric Lynch.