Fall 2013 Courses Enrolling Now!


This Fall: investigate the world’s most iconic detective, discover Tolkien’s epic inspirations and works and use those same works to examine the field of comparative philology at Signum’s Mythgard Institute.

The Courses

In “Sherlock, Science and Ratiocination,” students will spend 12 weeks uncovering the origins of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved and enduring character, Sherlock Holmes – and the genre of literature he embodies. Dr. Amy H. Sturgis will lead the class through a review of the forerunners of detective fiction including works by Edgar Allen Poe and Wilkie Collins before taking an in-depth look at the Sherlock stories and modern adaptations.

Through “Tolkien and Tradition,” Dr. Verlyn Flieger will take students on an exploration of exactly how J.R.R. Tolkien created his own medieval tales.  Works from Tolkien will be paired with their inspirational counterparts and will include “The Story of Kullervo” (with the Finnish Kalevala), Sigurd and Gudrún (with the Icelandic Eddas) and The Fall of Arthur (with the Alliterative Morte Arthure and the Stanzaic Morte Arthure).

Philology Through Tolkien” introduces scholars to the field of comparative philology through Tolkien’s life and works.  Dr. Tom Shippey and Nelson Goering will spend twelve weeks covering old Germanic languages and their literatures, such as Gothic, Old and Middle English, and Old Norse, and cover select topics in Germanic comparative grammar (e.g. Grimm’s Law). Attention will also be given to other related matters, such as Celtic philology and Tolkien’s invented languages.

Interested students may sign up to take courses for master’s level credit or simply for the love of learning as auditors. Registration for all three courses closes on Friday, September 14, 2013.