This year’s Mythcon theme provides multiple opportunities to explore the Other in fantasy and mythopoeic literature. Tolkien spoke in “On Fairy-stories” of “the desire to visit, free as a fish, the deep sea; or the longing for the noiseless, gracious, economical flight of a bird.” We invite discussion about the types of fantasy that are more likely to put us into contact with the alien, such as time portal fantasy and space travel fantasy. In addition to Inklings, some writers who deal particularly well with the truly alien who might be explored include Lovecraft, Gaiman, Le Guin, Tepper, and others. Other topics that might be fruitfully explored are:
Papers on our conference theme and the works and interests of our guests of honor are especially welcome, although all subjects will be considered.
Author Guest of Honor Rivera Sun is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection, The Roots of Resistance, and other novels. Her young adult fantasy series, the Ari Ara Series, has been widely acclaimed by teachers, parents, and peace activists for its blending of fantasy and adventure with social justice issues. The Way Between, the first book in the Ari Ara Series, has been read by numerous groups of all ages, while the second book in the series, The Lost Heir, has been nominated for the 2020 Dayton Peace Literature Prize.
Scholar Guest of Honor David Bratman is has been reading Tolkien for over fifty years, and has been writing Tolkien scholarship for nearly as long. His earliest contribution to the field was the first-ever published Tale of Years for the First Age, right after The Silmarillion was published. Since then he has published articles with titles like “Top Ten Rejected Plot Twists from The Lord of the Rings,” “Hobbit Names Aren’t from Kentucky,” and “Liquid Tolkien” (on Tolkien and music). He’s been co-editor of Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review since 2013, and has written or edited its annual “Year’s Work in Tolkien Studies” since 2004. David edited The Masques of Amen House by Charles Williams and contributed the bio-bibliographical appendix on the Inklings to Diana Pavlac Glyer’s The Company They Keep. He has also written on C.S. Lewis, Ursula Le Guin, Mervyn Peake, Neil Gaiman, and others.
Include AV requests and the projected time needed for your presentation. We will make every effort to accommodate A/V requests, but such equipment is limited and cannot be guaranteed. Available time slots: Individual long papers and panels will be scheduled for 50 minutes (to allow 10 minutes for time between sessions), so plan for about 40 minutes to present your paper and 10 minutes for questions and discussion; Individual short papers are scheduled for 30 minutes, about 10 minutes for the paper and 10 minutes for discussion (with 10 minutes for time between sessions).
All presenters must register for the full conference; please see the Mythcon 52 Registration page for information and rates.
Participants are encouraged to submit papers chosen for presentation at the conference to Mythlore, the refereed journal of the Mythopoeic Society. All papers should conform to the 8th edition of the MLA Style Manual. Presenters who are full-time undergraduate or graduate students are encouraged to submit their completed conference papers in advance for consideration for the Alexei Kondratiev Student Paper Award. Please see www.mythsoc.org/mythcon/alexei.htm for more information.
Authoritative information may be found here.