Monday, July 14, 2008

One month until Mythcon 39

I’ve been meaning to post some additional information on Mythcon 39 for those readers living in the northeastern United States who might be waiting for that final prod to attend. This is the first Mythcon hosted in New England, so it’s a real opportunity for us to see many new faces – faces who have found it too expensive or difficult to make it out to California, which has hosted a disproportionate number of Mythcon events. (And it looks like next year’s conference will be back in California again! More on that a little later.)

So, this year’s event is taking place at the Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT (about 12 miles southwest of Hartford). If you want to register online, then take note — tomorrow is the last day for that. After July 15, you can still attend, but you’ll have to purchase your registration “at the door.” The cost for registration, and optionally, room and board, along with a lot of other information, can be found at the Mythopoeic Society’s website by following the link above.

Why should you attend a Mythcon? Well, other than the fact that they are fun events where you get to meet lots of other folks with interests like yours, you also get to hear a lot of terrific talks on the subjects of Tolkien, Lewis, the Inklings, and other fantasy authors (in roughly that order — Tolkien has long been the mainstay of the Mythopoeic Society). This year’s event promises to be an especially good one, with a number of the better known Tolkien scholars in attendance. A few highlighted papers you can look forward to:

- Verlyn Flieger “Fate and Free Will in Middle-earth”
- Christina Scull “Memory as Evidence in Tolkien Scholarship”
- Wayne Hammond “At Home Among the Dreaming Spires: Tolkien & Oxford University”
- David Bratman “The Forgotten Women of Middle-Earth”
- Diana Glyer “C.S. Lewis in Disguise: Fictional Portraits of Jack in the Work of the Inklings”
- Ted Nasmith “From Middle-earth to Westeros and Back Again; New Artworks in a Familiar Vein”
- Janet B. Croft “The Education of a Witch: Tiffany Aching, Hermione Granger, and Gendered Magic in Discworld & Potterworld”
- Donald T. Williams “A Tryst With the Transcendentals: C.S. Lewis on Goodness, Truth and Beauty”
- Joe R. Christopher “The Thematic Organization of Spirits in Bondage” (Joe, I believe, is actually giving a second paper, too)

In addition to these , and about twenty other presentations, there will be book discussions and panels. I’ll be on a panel myself with Carl Hostetter and Arden Smith, where we’ll be discussing language and mythology in fantasy. Other panels will include discussions of Women in Middle-earth, the Valkyrie and the Goddess, and Fairy Stories (featuring Marjorie Burns, Verlyn Flieger, and Ted Nasmith). There’s also an auction where you might be able to pick up a rare book for your collection. I got a first edition Screwtape Letters two years ago. And a lot more besides this. A finalized schedule should be appearing any day now — I’ve seen a preliminary one, and it looks like a very full three and a half days.

And now, a promised word on Mythcon 40 — for those who like to plan far, far ahead. These details are certainly subject to change, but here they are anyway. According to the Mythopoeic Society’s 2007 Annual Report, a proposal has been made by Sarah Beach to host Mythcon in southern California next year. The suggested conference theme is “Sailing the Seas of Imagination”, and the planned guests of honor are Diana Pavlac Glyer and James A. Owen. If you would like to help host a Mythcon in your city, they’re open to the idea. Just let them know!

Hope to see some of you next month! :)


  1. Ooh, I hope you have highlights on Skull's "Memory" paper. That sounds fantastic. I did a major paper on Oral Cultures and Traditions of Transmission this last semester. Sounds really fantastic.

  2. I’ll be posting a detailed conference report some time after I return (as I did for the Vermont conference in April, as you may recall). I’ll try to have some pictures and summaries of the papers I’m able to get to. That will certainly not be all of them. They run two (sometimes three) parallel sessions, so you have to make difficult decisions. The worst is when a paper you really want to hear is opposite your own. But it seems I got lucky this time around.

  3. Looking forward to your review of the event and its highlights. :)

  4. Thanks, Kyrinn. I’ll try to get that post up as soon as I can after returning. Only a little over two weeks to go until the event now! I have learned of at least one person who encountered this post and decided as a direct result to attend Mythcon, so I feel good about that! :)

  5. So what'd ya think of the con?? hint hint nudge nudge--

    Your friendly neighborhood ex-mythcon 39 chair

    Anthony :-)

  6. Anthony,

    “Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say no more.” ;)

    I had a great time! Thanks to you and Jessie (and Kris) for all the hard work. I’m guessing the ex part of “ex-mythcon 39 chair” must feel pretty good. Both because all the stess is over, and also because of the elite company of past chairs you’ve joined.

    And hey, in case you’re checking back and reading this, I’ll be posting a conference report in the next day or two. Watch for that for more details, and a few pictures. And don’t forget to get me a review copy of Anne’s book (signed of course; and you and Jessie should autograph your introduction for me too).