Registration Deadline

Greetings!  Registration for TexMoot will be closing on Thursday, December 28th at midnight CST.  We have to have final numbers in to the host facility the next day.  If you have been thinking about signing up then now is a great time to do it!  If you want to wait until you have some extra gift money, please put the 28th on your calendars.  We hope to see you there!

Book Launch Party for “The Inklings and King Arthur”!

We are happy to announce that The Inklings and King Arthur is scheduled for publication on January 1st, 2018, and TexMoot has the honor of hosting the book release party!

This celebration will take place between noon and 1:30, during lunch. Dr. Corey Olsen will introduce this new collection of scholarship. The editor, Sørina Higgins, and the cover artist, Emily Austin, will discuss their work. Copies will be available for purchase. Please register for TexMoot and join us to celebrate the release of this long-expected book!

Here is information about the book:

in 2013, a previously-unpublished work by J.R.R. Tolkien appeared: The Fall of Arthur, his only explicitly Arthurian writing.  The publication of this extraordinary poem revealed subtle connections between “The Matter of Britain” and the rest of JRRT’s legendarium, and thus invited an examination of the theological, literary, historical, and linguistic implications of the Arthurian writings of all the major Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and Owen Barfield. It became immediately obvious that a scholarly study of these works was necessary.

The Inklings and King Arthur, edited by Sørina Higgins, fills that gap. It is an edited essay collection that examines the Arthurian works of Tolkien, Lewis, Williams, Barfield, their predecessors, and their contemporaries. It offers exciting, rigorous analytical perspectives on a wide range of the Inklings’ Arthurian and related works, contributing essential material to the academic field.

The cover design, by Signum University student Emily Austin, was chosen by popular poll through 99Designs. Emily writes about her design:

Not only is a pipe a rather apt symbol for the Inklings, but smoke itself is such a dynamic and fascinating substance that I felt it would prove an excellent visual counterpart to the ever-adapting Arthurian stories. The image as a whole had the potential to evoke thoughts of legend, history, imagination, and storytelling. Stylistically, this cover reflects some elements of Tolkien’s artwork. There is also, perhaps, a nod to Aubrey Beardley’s illustrations for Le Morte d’Arthur.

This collection of 20 essays thus is the result of a collaboration among scholars (from Baylor University, Signum University, many other institutions, and independent scholars), with lovely original cover art. We hope you can attend the party, hear about the book, and go hope with a few copies for yourself, your school, and your friends and family.

Introducing Dr. Olsen

The fourth guest on our scholarly panel will also be our keynote speaker; stay tuned for information about his keynote address soon! Dr. Corey Olsen will bring a literary perspective to our panel about literature and language in healing and refreshment of the spirit.

Dr. Corey Olsen is the President of Signum University. 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, 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.

Dr. Olsen obtained his B.A in English and Astrophysics from Williams College in 1996, going on to Columbia University where he obtained his M.A. in 1997, M.Phil in 2000, and his Ph.D in medieval literature in 2003. Upon graduation from Columbia University, Dr. Olsen obtained teaching positions at Temple University, Columbia University, Nyack College, and Washington College. In 2011, Dr. Olsen started Signum University and the Mythgard Institute. His book Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, was published by Houghton Mifflin in September 2012.

 

Hotel Accommodations

Greetings.  Here is an update on accomodations.  There is lodging available at the at the venue.  Please click here for information and to reserve a room.

If you’re the adventurous, tech-savvy type, there is a robust selection of airbnb rentals available in the Fort Worth area.

If you’re interested in booking elsewhere, here is the address of the event.

2001 W Seminary Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76115

There are several hotels ranging from Motel 6 to Marriott within a three mile radius.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Introducing Keith Loftin

Our third guest on the Scholarly Panel is Dr. R. Keith Loftin, who will be providing a philosophical and theological perspective on the question of healing in/by literature.

Dr. Keith Loftin is currently serving as both assistant dean, The Scarborough College at Southwestern, and assistant professor of philosophy & humanities at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Keith has a Ph.D. in philosophical theology from the University of Aberdeen, an a MATh.M. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology, an M.A. from Louisiana State University in philosophy, and an M.A. from the University of Dallas in humanities where he concentrated on history of philosophy. He is the author of Stand Firm: Apologetics and the Brilliance of the Gospel and has edited God and Morality: Four ViewsChristian Physicalism? Theological Critiques of Materialist Ontology, and Work in Christian Perspective: Theological Foundations and Practical Implications. He is married to Julie and they have a son named Ian. You can follow Keith on Twitter: 

Introducing Pat Miersma

Our second guest on the Scholarly Panel is Pat Miersma, who will be sharing with us a clinical, therapeutic perspective on language and literature in trauma healing.

Pat Miersma, RN, BScN, MN is a Mental Health Nurse-Ethnic Clinical Specialist.  She currently serves as the Global Trauma Healing Consultant for SIL International, a nonprofit organization serving language communities worldwide in language development since 1934 (www.sil.org).  Her work specializes in community and cross-cultural issues related to trauma healing and post-traumatic stress disorder. She previously served as the SIL International Counseling Coordinator.

Pat and her husband, a Marriage and Family Therapist, have served with SIL since 1980.  They have lived and worked in Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea and Africa, where they helped establish Tumaini Counseling Center in Nairobi, Kenya in 1989.

Pat serves on the Advisory Council of the Trauma Healing Institute (www.thi.americanbible.org) and is one of the authors of Healing the Wounds of Trauma:  How the church can help, developed in 2003, and now being used  in 100 countries and published in or being translated into 194 languages.

She holds a MN from UCLA and was assistant professor of psychiatric and community mental health nursing at Biola University from 1992–1996. Pat was an officer in the US Army Nurse Corps at 27th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (M.A.S.H. unit) in Chu Lai, South Vietnam, from April 1970-June 1971.

 

Introducing Dr. Unseth

One of our guests on the Scholarly Panel is Dr. Peter Unseth of the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics in Dallas.

Pete Unseth likes to tell stories about growing up in Japan, then near Lake Wobegon, MN, and living as an adult in Ethiopia for a dozen years and now 20 years in Texas. He’s Texan enough to tell the story about the dumb fool who went and hit a five foot rattlesnake with a four foot stick, but not enough Texan to say “I’m fixin to” or “I might could be able to do that”. He enjoys the softer side of human language, teaching sociolinguistic topics, dealing with comprehension and emotional solidarity with languages, such as in literature.  He studies proverbs from around the world, and also their use in stories, such as Lewis creating 10 proverbs for The Horse and His Boy.  In pondering some stories to prepare for this conference, he was surprised that he has found that reading some tragedies has also been uplifting. He has also found some stories so powerful that he can only read them when he can concentrate in quiet for prolonged blocks of time. Favorite authors include Sigrid Undset (similarity of last name may have something to do with it),  Dr. Seuss,  Elizabeth Goudge, Helen MacInnes,  J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and his own imagination. But that’s another story…

Scholarly Panel Update: Special Guests Confirmed!

We are happy to announce that all four of our special guests are confirmed for the scholarly panel! Here is a little bit of information about them; we will put up individual posts with longer bios, pics, and more details later on.
Corey Olsen is the founder and president of Signum University, the sponsoring institution of the symposium. He is a Medievalist by training and an expert in J.R.R. Tolkien. He’ll be providing the literary perspective on “Stories for the Refreshment of the Spirit.” 
Keith Loftin is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Humanities and Assistant Dean at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary/Scarborough College, the institution that is hosting this symposium. He’ll be providing the theological/philosophical perspective on literature and healing. 
Pat Miersma is a Mental Health Nurse-Ethnic Clinical Specialist and Global Trauma Healing Consultant. She’ll be providing the clinical/psychological/therapeutic perspective about how stories can help (or harm) in clinical, therapeutic situations for the healing of trauma. 
Pete Unseth is an Associate Professor and Department Head of Applied Anthropology at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics in Dallas. He’ll be providing the linguistic/anthropological perspective on how heart language and performative sign language can contribute to the healing of cultural traumas. 
– The panel will be moderated by Sørina Higgins, Chair of the Language & Literature Department at Signum University and a PhD candidate and Teacher of Record at Baylor. She is studying magic in 20th century British and Irish theatre; her previous work has been on Charles Williams and C. S. Lewis. If you have questions you would like her to ask the panel members, send them to info@texmoot.org

Call For Academic Papers and Creative Presentations Extended

Many wonderful things have happened on November 15th. 

  • 3018 T.A. – The Fellowship was resting in Rivendell
  • 1315 – The Swiss defeated Duke Leopold I of Austria in the Battle of Morgarten
  • 1859 – The final installment of A Tale of Two Cities was published
  • 1867 – the first stock ticker debuted
  • 1956 – Elvis Presley made his motion picture debut in Love Me Tender
  • 2017 – The Call for Papers and Creative Presentations closes

We look forward to seeing your abstracts!  Please click here for more info.

 

Creative Panel Update – J. Aleksandr Wootton to Host

We are pleased to announce that J. Aleksander Wootton will be hosting the creative panel.  Mr. Wootton is an author, poet, and bookworm (in the Tolkienic meaning of ‘worm’ as ‘dragon’ – he hoards books in shelves and spare rooms and likes to sleep surrounded by them). In his spare time he chairs the Folklore Studies department at Lightfoot College, where his research focuses on post-war Faerie.  Mr. Wootton is also the author of three published novels – Her Unwelcome InheritanceThe Eighth Square, and A First or Final Mischief – in the Fayborn trilogy, as well as two poetry collections: Muninn Wandering and Domestaccato.

Please head out to his website or visit his Goodreads page!