The mission of the SPACE program is to provide numerous and varied opportunities for personal enrichment through learning. SPACE modules are designed to be academically serious but fun, focused purely on the love of learning and the joy of studying the material. SPACE provides fully online access to a serious but low-impact arena for learning, whether you are interested in building a systematic course of study or just pursuing eclectic interests.

Signum University believes in connecting learners with teachers, and with each other! SPACE modules, like all Signum classes, are based on real-time, online small-group discussion sessions. Our modules each last for one month and typically meet twice a week for an hour-long interaction under the direction of the module’s preceptor. Each module provides eight hours of class time.  If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected]

Embark today on your next learning adventure in SPACE!

How to Participate

FIRST Purchase Your Tokens

SPACE Tokens are each redeemable for participation in one SPACE module. SPACE Tokens never expire; you can use them whenever you like, and you can even give them away to friends! If you would like to make a gift of one or more SPACE Tokens, just make your purchase and then email [email protected], telling us the name and email address of the recipient of the tokens, and the number of tokens you are giving.

Token Prices
Tokens Total Price Price per Token
1 $150 $150
2 $280 $140
3 $390 $130
4 $480 $120
5 $550 $110
6 $600 $100

NEXT Choose Your Modules

Our Modules Directory contains the full list of our SPACE modules. Each month, we will publish a list of Candidate Modules; these are the modules that we are prepared to teach in two months. Once you have purchased at least one Token, the Communications Center will email you the link to a simple form on which you can choose among these Candidate modules, selecting your module of choice.

After the candidate month (approximately the 7th of the next month), we will publish the list of Confirmed Modules:  modules that have already received at least four registrations as candidates. If the module you initially selected is not Confirmed for that month, you can register for a module from our Confirmed list instead, or keep your Token to use in a later month. Students can register for one of our Confirmed Modules right up until classes start. If you want to have a say in which modules run in a given month, purchase your tokens and make your selection early!

Imminent Modules

Confirmed Modules

Confirmed Modules for January, 2022:

January Weekly Schedule

mini-calendar of confirmed module times for Jan '22

Candidate Modules

Candidate Modules for February 2022 are being calculated as we speak. Students who have purchased Tokens will have until January 6 to make their selections for February candidates, at which point the candidates receiving enough registrations will become Confirmed Modules for February 2022.  From January 1 to 31, token holders whose chosen candidates did not become candidates and new token holders may register for Confirmed Modules or hang on to their token.

Fantasy Studies

Beginning Language

Advanced Language

Creative Writing

February Candidate Weekly Schedule

SPACE Module Directory

Advanced Latin: Aesop’s Fables

Aesop’s Fables are an odd collection of stories of multiple genres, some by Aesop, others attributed to him over the centuries. According to Herodotus, Aesop lived in the sixth century BCE, indicating that some form of the fables were already traditional and hoary when Herodotus was writing in the early fifth century BCE. In the Middle Ages, Latin versions of the fables were used as intermediate texts for students learning Latin. This module picks up with that tradition for the 21st century!

Preceptor: Larry Swain

Advanced Latin Readings: Cicero’s Pro Archia Oration

Cicero is perhaps the preeminent Latin prose stylist. He made his fame in Rome as a barrister and senator opposed to Caesar. In this trial of the poet Archius, Cicero defends the humanities as a vital area of study earning Archius Roman citizenship rather than deportation.

Preceptor: Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Heroic Elegies

J. R. R. Tolkien suggested in his seminal Monsters and the Critics that Beowulf is a heroic elegy. In this module, we will translate some of the Old English Heroic Elegies such as Deor, Wife’s Lament, Husband’s Message, The Ruin, and if time others. Not only translating, the question is how these “elegies” relate to Beowulf, or Tolkien’s own work. The module emphasizes translation and working in Old English, but also how that applies to other literature (i. e. this stuff isn’t in a vacuum!)

Preceptor: Larry Swain

Advanced Old English Readings in Poetry: Judith and Exodus

The Early English adapted Biblical material into heroic poetry. In this module two of those poems will be translated and discussed, each only a few hundred lines.

Preceptor: Larry Swain

Advanced Old English Readings in Prose: the Old English Boethius

Alfred the Great had Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy translated into Old English. This module will translate and comment on this translation and how it adapts the late Roman text to the early medieval context.

Preceptor: Larry Swain

Required Textbook: The Old English Boethius

Are You Tolkien To Me?

Why are the works of J.R.R. Tolkien still so relevant to us in the 21st century? In this course, we will look at some of the central themes of his novels, including Family, Home, Good vs. Evil, and Loss, exploring how Tolkien is still speaking to us almost fifty years after his death.

Preceptor: Sara Brown

Babylon 5: Who Are You?

The first of the two essential questions raised in Babylon 5, “Who are you” demands that listeners and respondents consider the nature of their own mortality and personhood, delving deeply into their multifaceted identities. This four-week seminar explores the responses to this question as given by six core members of the Babylon 5 universe and considers its presentation as a core Vorlon question, examining the world of Babylon 5 as a space of introspection and self-discovery.

Preceptor: Faith Acker

Chaucer in Middle English: The Canterbury Tales

Read what Chaucer wrote in his own language! The famed Canterbury Tales are a wonderful read in Middle English and this module will focus on The Miller’s Tale.

Preceptor: Larry Swain

C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”

Join Ms. Elise for a cozy, relaxed December Book Club as we read and discuss the magic of C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

Preceptor: Elise Trudel Cedeño

Conversational French

Learn French like you learned your first language – through stories, questions, and answers.

Preceptor: Sarah Tripp

Conversational Spanish

In this module, we will speak about art, hobbies, memories, and many other topics in Spanish. We will examine specific vocabulary and expressions in an interactive way.

Preceptor: Pilar Barrera

Creative Writing: One Month Story

We will walk through a complete project from pre-writing through writing, revising, editing, (revising, revising, revising), proofreading, and talking about publication options. Are you interested in finally getting down that memoir of your childhood? making a storybook for your grands? turning that daydream into a novelette? This adventure is for you!

Preceptor: Sparrow F. Alden

Creative Writing: Poetry in Forms

This class introduces students to some of the classic forms of European poetry, including sonnets, villanelles, sestinas, ballads, odes, and more. We’ll look at some noteworthy examples, then compose our own poetry following those structures, which we’ll then workshop together.

Preceptor: Sørina Higgins

Creative Writing: Weekend Intensive

Our goal is to create a completed short work in one weekend! Prompts, planning, focus methods, peer encouragement, machete editing, character crucibles — we’ll do it all. Writers will write between sessions as well as during.

Preceptor: Sparrow F. Alden

Creative Writing: Writing the Hero

We will write and discuss scenes of heroism. Whether we write memoir, pure fiction, or a what-if-it-had-ended-well personal speculations, we are committed to the notion that we need good tales of good people making heroic choices. Writing these short scenes during difficult times balances our minds and hearts, and can be part of a personal path to hope. This module specifically integrates trauma-informed safe space principles.

Preceptor: Sparrow F. Alden

Creative Writing Workshop

We will meet for once a week skill workshops and once a week peer review. Our method includes author inquiry, character interviews, and positive feedback.

Preceptor: Sparrow F. Alden

Electronic Text Markup With XML and TEI

This module will introduce the markup of literary and historical texts electronically. It will begin with a tour of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and then the guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). There will plenty of hands-on activities to markup your out-of-copyright texts of choice.

Preceptor: James Tauber

English Sonnet Readings

This module will explore a range of English sonnets, some familiar and some more obscure, looking at the wordplay of all and exploring the contexts and reception of these poets or their authors where known. In the second half of the month, we will also explore the versatility of the sonnet form, looking at adaptations, variations, and the effects thereof.

Preceptor: Faith Acker

Fairy Tales from Apples to Bears

In this module, we will answer questions such as: what is a fairy tale? Why do we tell stories? What is the function of fairy tales? What are some recurring themes? Stories to be discussed include Snow White (with and without dwarfs), Little Red Riding-hood, the Little Match Girl, Thumbelina, and East of the Sun and West of the Moon.

Preceptor: Pilar Barrera

The Fantastic in East Asia

Come join us as we explore various aspects of the weird, the strange, the uncanny, the dreamlike, and the visionary in East Asian literature, religion, folktales, poetry, and popular media. Whether it is ecstatic visions in Daoist texts, shamanistic expressions in Chinese poetry, gumiho and ghosts in KDramas, or stories such as that of the Yuki Onna (Snow Woman) in Japanese folklore, we’ll explore them all (and perhaps more!) in this class.

Preceptor: Robert Steed

Hieroglyphics 1

Introductory Hieroglyphics will present students with a basic understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs, grammar, and knowledge about how to proceed with further study. In this course we will discuss how to translate a few common steles that you are likely to encounter in museums, as well as their cultural significance.

Preceptor: Shawn Gaffney

History of the Book Arts

This module gives an overview of writing and alphabets, literary and other works written on stone, papyrus, wax, and parchment.

Preceptor: Larry Swain

The History of the Symphony 1: Beginnings to Beethoven

This module will be a chronological listening tour from the precursors of the symphony in the baroque era to the birth of the symphony in the classical era culminating in the works of Beethoven. We will listen to some key works together and discuss some of the innovations introduced in those particular works.

Preceptor: James Tauber

The History of the Symphony 2: After Beethoven

This module will be a chronological listening tour of the history of the symphony after Beethoven. We will explore the symphony’s subsequent development in the romantic era, and its rethinking in the 20th century. We will listen to some key works together and discuss some of the innovations introduced in those particular works.

Preceptor: James Tauber

How to Read A Poem

This short course will teach close-reading and interpretation skills for understanding and enjoying great works of lyric poetry from various time periods and cultures. Through paraphrase, commentary, close analysis, and conversation, we will learn to love these literary jewels more than ever before.

Preceptor: Sørina Higgins

Intermediate Latin Reading: Catullus

This course is for those who have had beginning Latin and are ready to move on into reading and translating classical Latin authors.

Preceptor: Larry Swain

Introduction to Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales

In this module, we will read and discuss some of Andersen’s fairy tales. We will talk about their plot, characters, and specific imagery. We will also discuss Andersen’s influence on subsequent authors and expressions in different media.

Preceptor: Pilar Barrera

Introduction to Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales

In this module, we will read and discuss some of Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales. We will talk about the plot, characters, specific nuances of the language, use of irony, and general meaning, as well as Wilde’s influence on other media.

Preceptor: Pilar Barrera

J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Letters from Father Christmas.”

Join Ms. Elise for a cozy, relaxed Book Club setting and discuss the joy of Tolkien’s beloved Christmas tale.

Preceptor: Elise Trudel Cedeño

Japanese Children’s Literature

In this module we will talk about Japanese children’s literature and fairy tales and their connection to specific Japanese cultural aspects and values such as the acceptance of death and the imperfection of the world.

Preceptor: Pilar Barrera

Latin in a Year 1

In this month-long introduction to the formal study of Latin, students will learn the basic principles of Latin translation, learn to conjugate Latin verbs in the present tense and decline Latin nouns in the 1st and 2nd declensions, and practice translating sentences and short Latin passages.

Preceptor: Faith Acker

Required texts & Materials:Wheelock’s Latin, 7th edition

Latin in a Year 2

Students taking this module will learn to decline Latin nouns in the 3rd declension and conjugate Latin verbs (including sum/esse) in the imperfect and future tenses, applying these new skills to sentences and short Latin passages. The second part of Signum SPACE’s Latin in a Year sequence, this module covers chapters 5-7 of Wheelock’s Latin.

Preceptor: Faith Acker

Required texts & Materials:Wheelock’s Latin, 7th edition

Miyazaki 1: The Beginning

Come join us as we examine Hayao Miyazaki’s early years as a director and the films which set the groundwork for his career. This module cover’s Miyazaki’s directorial debut film Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro through the rest of the films in the 1980s: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Preceptor: Keli Fancher

Miyazaki’s Anime: Recovery of Innocence

One of the principal thematic elements found in the works of Hayao Miyazaki is the restorative power of childhood. Through his works, childhood itself becomes a utopian site. It is through this emphasis that we recover its best aspects: innocence, curiosity, and wonder. In this module we will watch and discuss four of Miyazaki’s works which best represent childhood and his usage of it to facilitate recovery.

Preceptor: Keli Fancher

Modern British Poetry

In this module we will read and discuss a collection of some of the best British poetry of the 21st century, considering the ways in which each poet addresses the anxieties of our time.

Preceptor: Sara Brown

Old English 1

This 8 hour module will introduce students to the basics of Old English language and prepare them for reading literature in that language.

Preceptor: Larry Swain

Required texbook for this and the following Old English courses: Reading Old English

Old English 2

This module picks up where Old English I ended! OE II introduces students to translating their first passages of Old English prose. In addition, by the end of the module learners will have the full Old English verb system, adjectives and adverbs, and all the array of Old English pronouns!

Preceptor: Larry Swain

Required textbook for this and the other introductory Old English courses: Reading Old English

Plague Literature

Pandemics have swept the globe with disturbing regularity throughout human history, and authors have written literature in response to one they experienced or others they imagined in the future. What do historical and imaginary epidemics and pandemics teach us about our own? How do authors use contagion allegorically and metaphorically as social commentary? Put our current COVID-19 into perspective by reading and discussing novels, short stories, poems, and other works set in a time of plague.

Preceptor: Sørina Higgins

Poems With A Story

In this module, we will discuss classic poems using different stylistic and Cognitive Poetics techniques such as the use and connotation of specific words, textual attractors and their effect, the meaning of negative words, etc.

Preceptor: Pilar Barrera

Poetry as Practical Ecology

Through a selection of great poems drawn primarily from the tradition of British, Irish, and American literature, we’ll look at what we can learn from these creative writings about taking care of the planet. We will read and talk about descriptions of nature in these poems, then see what principles of creation care we can extrapolate from the ways they interact with the nonhuman environment, animals, plants, weather, and more.

Preceptor: Sørina Higgins

Readings in Middle English Before Chaucer 1

Havelock the Dane is lovely fairy tale type story that sits between heroic epic and developing Romance genres looking into a now distant past, and showing how an unjustly treated child grows to be a great king.

Preceptor: Larry Swain

To Repair Arda: Tolkien’s Dwarves Through Jewish Mysticism

J.R.R. Tolkien explicitly and publicly associated his subcreated race of the Dwarves with the Jewish people. This raises all sorts of interesting questions and problems, not least of which is why does he do this, and what within Jewish culture is he referring to? Usually scholars point to Dwarven language and Dwarven history for this association, but in this class we will explore the possibility that at the deepest level Tolkien is also drawing upon aspects of Jewish mysticism to support his claim.

Preceptor: Robert Steed

Tolkien’s Ents and the Environment

J. R. R. Tolkien had great sensitivity to the details, delights, and vitality of the natural world. Throughout his writings, and especially in episodes involving the Ents and the land of Rohan, he pays exquisite attention to the lives and even personalities of trees, leaves, trunks, roots, atmosphere, streams, lichen, weather, rocks, cliffs, sun, moon, wind, rain, grass, soil, and other specific elements of creation. In this course, we will read these passages slowly and carefully, trying to appreciate every detail, and discuss what we can learn about caring for flora, fauna, and the planet itself from his loving descriptions and from some smart commentaries on his work.

Preceptor: Sørina Higgins

Tolkien’s Invented Languages in Lord of the Rings

In this puzzle-solving course we will work to piece together Tolkien’s invented languages based primarily on how they are used in Lord of the Rings. Although much richer linguistic information became publicly available later, this course will look primarily at those aspects of the languages revealed through the main text and appendices of Lord of the Rings.

Preceptor: James Tauber and Elise Trudel Cedeño

Tolkien’s Writing Systems

This module will study various writing systems invented or adapted by Tolkien. We will primarily look at the Tengwar and the Angerthas (Cirth) described in the Lord of the Rings but we will also touch on other systems such as the Hobbit runes and other runic variants as well as the Goblin Alphabet from the Letters from Father Christmas. Along the way we will introduce some basic phonetics and place Tolkien’s inventions in the context of the writing systems of the primary world.

Preceptor: James Tauber & Elise Trudel Cedeño

Translation Techniques for Beginning Latin Students

This month-long introduction to reading Latin overviews core grammatical concepts, trains students to use dictionaries and grammatical aids, and highlights some Latin derivatives in English vocabulary. For the inaugural December instance of the course, we will read extracts from the Gospel of John in the Latin Vulgate and explore some Latin hymns and carols.  .

Preceptor: Faith Acker

Required texts & materials: Any Latin dictionary will do, but Faith especially recommends Cassell’s

Writing for Children

What makes a good children’s story? We’re going to address chapter books, cultural stories, and learning tales all through a lens of moral, cultural, and spiritual human development. Trying our hands at these forms should lead us to a nice folder full of works-in-progress at the end of the month.

Preceptor: Sparrow F. Alden