Re: Mythcon publicity
- Greetings, all. I'm not sure I've ever actually introduced myself, but I've been reading posts in this list with great interest. (Especially about Children of Hurin - I'm saving to get my copy, because my recent birthday came and went with no one picking up on my hints.:-))
I felt compelled to comment on the recent discussion of introducing youth into the Society. I'm 23, and graduated from college a year ago - NYU, where I majored in Theatre and Psychology. I could have graduated early, but didn't so I could take some classes in the Medieval & Renaissance Studies dept just for fun, especially a class on Tolkien and Lewis focusing on the medieval sources that influenced their writing. (We read Beowulf, Gawain and the Green Knight, Milton, etc.) The course actually focused more on Tolkien than Lewis, so the next semester I sought out a Christian professor in the English Department who had done some work on Milton and was willing to supervise an independent study on C.S. Lewis. The final paper focused on the role of the Christian storyteller and the moral value of fantasy literature. (I hadn't yet learned the word "mythopoeic.") I drew heavily on Lewis's "On Stories" and Tolkien's "On Fairy-Stories," as well as the psychologist Albert Bandura's w
ork on social learning. I am actually strongly considering going back to NYU and writing a Master's thesis on Christian Mythopoeia. (That is, unless I can find another school that has the individualized study and extensive resources offered by NYU, but which isn't populated almost exclusively by professors who think Freudian psychoanalysis provides penetrating insight into fairy tales, and that organized religion is an interesting phenomenon from an anthropological point of view, but is obviously an oppressive force that should be discarded for the greater progress of humanity. Any ideas on schools where "Beverages not Beveridges" is an approved motto?)
Wow, that was long. I actually just spent half an hour looking back at my reading list from that course, with fond memories. Anyway, may I suggest that one reason fewer people my age might be attending is because of cost, as others have suggested. I'm just out of school, and I don't even have a full-time job. I work two part-time jobs, both in the arts, and am also acting in a regional market (Baltimore, MD). I just don't have the money for airfare, hotel, and registration fees, much as I would like to attend a Mythcon. Older folks are more likely to have established jobs and savings than us starving students or recent grads. I would love to take advantage of a scholarship or a local Mythcon, but in the meantime I'll have to save my dollars (even just to buy Hurin).
And btw, a MySpace page for the Soc might not be such a bad idea.
So there's my introduction, of sorts. I hope to speak up more often.
Currently laughing out loud as he reads Vol. 2 of The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, and feeling lonely because no one around him has a similar love of Lewisian humour
- My thanks to everyone for their welcoming replies. I'm consolidating my responses into one post so as not to clog up your mailboxes. Wendell: I'm not sure my class paper would be of high enough quality to stand alongside other Mythcon presenters, but I'll take a look at it and see if I can get it up to snuff for submission. Thank you very much for the Knossos schedule. Emerdavid: Of course pun intended. Re: the MySpace page: The reason I didn't volunteer to create one was because of exactly the reasons David Bratman mentioned. I've only been a member a few months; if a page were to be created, it should be created by someone in an official capacity. And I wholeheartedly agree with David when he said, "We don't have to reinvent the Society to some low media denominator." If that happened for the sake of attracting members, much of the value of the Society would be lost. The trick is not to change it so that more people want to join, but to let more people know about it so that those people (like me) who would say, "Wow, such a thing EXISTS!?" will find what they've already been searching for. (Btw, I found out about the Soc. through Google - I was searching either for Lord of the Rings sites, or for sites about the Inklings, if I remember correctly.) Ellen: I am also on LiveJournal. I know there are several Tolkien/Lewis communities, some of which actually have good discussion. (On the "tolkien" community, someone just tried to post their "fanpics" of male LOTR characters engaging in romantic relationships with each other, and links to their club for the encouragement of the same. Several other members of the community gently but firmly suggested that, while that person had the right to post whatever he/she wanted, those drawings might not be quite appropriate for a community of people who were serious about discussing, among other topics, the moral and spiritual themes of the Middle-Earth Legendarium - oh, and they also weren't very respectful of the author's own beliefs. [Kind of like the LOTR tarot deck I saw sold at the Renn Faire where I work. The owner didn't care. It made me sad.] I was surprised to find on LJ something more than just rabid movie fans.) Lynn: Thank you for the tip about the "Starving Scholars" fund! Don't worry, I will be sticking around, and will try to make it to the next Mythcon (or Knossos meeting) I can. Cole
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