Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

November 2023January 2024

December 2023 Modules

A Journey Through The History of Middle-earth: The Peoples of Middle-earth (HoMe 12)
(Section 1)
Continuing Series  Hybrid

Meeting Mondays at 10:00 PM Eastern on November 27 and December 4, at 3:00 PM Eastern on December 11, and back to 10:00 PM Eastern on December 18.
Meeting Thursdays at 10:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on November 30, December 7, 14, 21.
Christopher Tolkien’s twelve volumes on the History of Middle-earth give unparalleled insight into the development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium. They contain early drafts of familiar texts, different conceptualizations of well-known stories, and in some cases completely new material.

This module is part of a series of modules covering all twelve volumes of The History of Middle-earth. This particular module will provide an overview of the final book (Volume Twelve), The Peoples of Middle-earth, as well as readings from and discussion of highlights in that volume. It will include a guest appearance from Tolkien scholar John Garth.

Whether you’ve read the History of Middle-earth before or not, the hope is that these modules will make the volumes more accessible and will enhance your appreciation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. There is no requirement that you do every single module in the series as each will be largely standalone, although in later modules, references will be made to earlier volumes.
Precepted by Patrick Lyon (Section 1) and James Tauber (Lecturer)

A Journey Through The History of Middle-earth: The Peoples of Middle-earth (HoMe 12)
(Section 2)
Continuing Series  Hybrid

Meeting Mondays at 10:00 PM Eastern on November 27 and December 4, at 3:00 PM Eastern on December 11, and back to 10:00 PM Eastern on December 18.
Section Two Meeting Thursdays at 11:00 AM Eastern for four 1-hour sessions on November 30, December 7, 14, 21
Christopher Tolkien’s twelve volumes on the History of Middle-earth give unparalleled insight into the development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium. They contain early drafts of familiar texts, different conceptualizations of well-known stories, and in some cases completely new material.

This module is part of a series of modules covering all twelve volumes of The History of Middle-earth. This particular module will provide an overview of the final book (Volume Twelve), The Peoples of Middle-earth, as well as readings from and discussion of highlights in that volume. It will include a guest appearance from Tolkien scholar John Garth.

Whether you’ve read the History of Middle-earth before or not, the hope is that these modules will make the volumes more accessible and will enhance your appreciation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. There is no requirement that you do every single module in the series as each will be largely standalone, although in later modules, references will be made to earlier volumes.
Precepted by Dr. Sara Brown (Section 2) and James Tauber (Lecturer)

A Journey Through The History of Middle-earth: The Peoples of Middle-earth (HoMe 12)
(Section 3)
Continuing Series  Hybrid

Meeting Mondays at 10:00 PM Eastern on November 27 and December 4, at 3:00 PM Eastern on December 11, and back to 10:00 PM Eastern on December 18.
Section Three Meeting Thursdays at 3:00 PM Eastern for four 1-hour sessions on November 30, December 7, 14, 21
Christopher Tolkien’s twelve volumes on the History of Middle-earth give unparalleled insight into the development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium. They contain early drafts of familiar texts, different conceptualizations of well-known stories, and in some cases completely new material.

This module is part of a series of modules covering all twelve volumes of The History of Middle-earth. This particular module will provide an overview of the final book (Volume Twelve), The Peoples of Middle-earth, as well as readings from and discussion of highlights in that volume. It will include a guest appearance from Tolkien scholar John Garth.

Whether you’ve read the History of Middle-earth before or not, the hope is that these modules will make the volumes more accessible and will enhance your appreciation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. There is no requirement that you do every single module in the series as each will be largely standalone, although in later modules, references will be made to earlier volumes.
Precepted by Dr. Sara Brown (Section 3) and James Tauber (Lecturer)

Book Club: Children of Dune 1
First in the Series

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 10:00 PM Eastern for four 90-minute sessions on December 4, 7, 11, and 14, and two 1-hour sessions on December 18, 21
Have you seen the Preacher?

In this two-month module, we will read and discuss the third Dune novel, Children of Dune. Chaos and civil war threaten the Atreides legacy as religious fanatics rise to challenge the family’s rule.

The culmination of the initial Dune trilogy is another sweeping epic of intrigue and survival in the face of overwhelming odds. We will explore themes like hero cults, history, politics and religious violence, as the heirs of Paul Atreides discover the path laid out for them—and its deadly consequences.

Whether you are a new or continuing student in our Dune book club, all are welcome to join this class. Connect with book lovers, compare to the adaptations, and share your insights.

Let the spice flow!
Precepted by Dr. Julian Barr

Creative Writing: Weekend Intensive

Meeting Friday, December 29th from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern
Saturday, December 30th from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM Eastern (with a 2-hour afternoon break)
Sunday, December 31st from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern
Write in the New Year!

On December 29th (Friday), 30th (Saturday), and 31st (Sunday), we're going to celebrate creativity by attempting a complete short story! Our format will include eight SPACE class sessions, WriterSpace focus time in excellent company, Bandersnatch Breakout room for talking about our craft, peer feedback through google doc commenting and breakout room conversations, and an enthusiastic ringing in of the new year. So sharpen your quills, line up the inkpots, and make a BIG casserole to last the weekend.

Here's the plan:
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Friday the 29th from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern
6p - class session
7p - WriterSpace
8p - class session
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Saturday the 30th from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Eastern
9a - class session
10a - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
11a - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
12noon - class session
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Saturday the 30th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern:
Nap time.
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Saturday the 30th from 3:00 PM to 9:05 PM Eastern:
3p - class session
4p - 6pm WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
6p - class session
7p - 9pm WriterSpace Bandersnatch & peer review
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Sunday, the 31st from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern
1p - class session
2p - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
3p - class session
4p - ring in the New Year with our friends in Svalbard, Norway
(you'll even have time to go to a swank New Year's Eve party and introduce yourself as an author, then sleep all day on Monday the 1st)
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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.

You are going to end this amazing experience with a complete first draft of your story. What a way to begin 2024!


Note: For more information about the Collaborative Feedback Method in SPACE, please check out our video here.
Precepted by Sparrow F. Alden

Creative Writing: Workshop

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 6:00 PM Eastern for four 90-minute sessions on December 4, 7, 11, and 14, and two 1-hour sessions on December 18, 21
We will meet to blend learning, discussion, and playing games with reading, appreciating, and commenting on one another’s work as it is submitted for peer review. Writers are encouraged—but never required—to submit new pieces in any state of draftiness or readiness up to 2,000 words each week for peer reading and feedback. Our Collaborative Feedback method, developed here at Signum University, asks us to comment at the author's comfort level through a structured reader (not editor) response. We gather to encourage the story that the author wants to tell. Our philosophy of kindness first might just turn around your previous experience of writing groups.





A seat has been reserved in this module for any writer (especially a beginner) of marginalized identity to support them finding their voice. Please simply write to [email protected] to identify yourself if you wish to join the class.





Note: For more information about the Collaborative Feedback Method in SPACE, please check out our video here.
Precepted by Dr. Julian Barr

His Dark Materials in Context: The Subtle Knife

Meeting Fridays at 10:00 AM Eastern for four 2-hour sessions on December 1, 8, 15, 22
Sir Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is widely regarded as a modern classic, has been described by The New Statesman as “the most ambitious work since The Lord of the Rings,” and has been adapted onto stage, radio, and screen. The series is also deep and complex, drawing from a rich array of literary, philosophical, and theological ideas.

In this three-module series we will read, successively, the three novels in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, juxtaposing each with selected materials that will allow us to read Pullman’s work both on its own and in conversation with other works. Students can join one, two, or all three modules. There are no prerequisites.

• Module 1: His Dark Materials in Context: The Golden Compass (a.k.a. Northern Lights) (October 2023)

• Module 2: His Dark Materials in Context: The Subtle Knife (December 2023)

• Module 3: His Dark Materials in Context: The Amber Spyglass (January 2023)

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrún

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 6:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on November 30, December 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, (skip 25), 28
Love, power, betrayal, death; the occasional dragon and cursed ring. All these are to be found in the legends of the Vǫlsungs and Niflungs, amongst the most popular and abiding legends of the medieval Germanic-speaking and Norse worlds. J.R.R. Tolkien reworked these into two poems in Modern English patterned after the alliterative style of Old Norse poems. In this module, we read Tolkien’s poems and their accompanying commentary to see how Tolkien wrought his own retelling of these ancient tales, and we’ll trace the connections across from the original medieval legends through Tolkien’s retelling to his original works of fantasy set in Middle-earth.
Precepted by Dr. Carl Anderson

Latin in a Year 11
Continuing Series

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on November 30, December 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26
Latin in a Year continues, in its penultimate month, with additional forms and uses of participles and subjunctives as well as a handful of useful constructions and forms that function in slightly irregular ways. Covering the final three chapters in Wheelock’s Latin (38-40), this module reviews many earlier constructions and introduces a few new forms and functions.



This module covers chapters 38-40 of Wheelock’s Latin::
- 38: Relative Clauses of Characteristic; Dative of Reference; Supines
- 39: Gerund and Gerundive
- 40: -Ne, Num, and Nonne in Direct Questions; Fear Clauses;Genitive and Ablative of Description
Precepted by Dr. Faith Acker

Old English 3
Continuing Series

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 7:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on November 29, December 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, (skip 25), 27
Ready to begin learning Old English? This series of modules introduces students to the vocabulary and structure of the earliest recorded form of the English language. One year of modules prepares the student to read texts from over a thousand years ago! Each one-month module builds on the previous one, so students ready to learn Old English will communicate with our Director and Professor Swain to make the right placement for everyone.
Precepted by Dr. Isaac Schendel

Old Norse 6
Continuing Series

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 8:00 PM Eastern for two 90-minute sessions on December 4 and 7, and five 1-hour sessions on December 11, 14, 18, 21, (skip 25), 28
This series of modules introduces you to the vocabulary and grammar of Old Norse, preparing you to read medieval sagas, eddic poetry, and even Viking-Age runic inscriptions. Each one-month module builds on the previous one, so students ready to learn Old Norse will communicate with our Director and Professor Anderson to choose the right placement for everyone.
Precepted by Dr. Carl Anderson

Representing Utopia through the Ages
Spotlight 

Meeting Wednesdays & Fridays at 2:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on December 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29
While the idea of establishing an ‘actual’ utopia has been disparaged since the first half of the twentieth century from socio-political perspectives (e.g. the failed age of ideology from 1917-1945), literary and related cultural narratives have a long history of imagining and representing utopia (also paradise, the golden age, etc.). These utopias often function to criticize the problematic social norms and climates of their times as well as providing progressive imaginings for a better future, often based on certain ideals or virtues. In this module, we go on a chronological tour of different representations of utopia, including: the paleolithic utopia of hunter-gatherers (e.g. as discussed in Harari’s Homo Sapiens) (before 10,000 BC), the Bronze Age utopia of Minoan Crete (4000-1400 BCE), Plato’s mythical island of Atlantis (ca 400 BC), the pastoral utopia of the Roman poet Virgil (ca 40 BC), the New World utopia of Sir Thomas More (1516), the Enlightened, reasoned utopia of Robinson Crusoe (1719), Tolkien’s fantasy utopia of Númenor (ca 1940), and more.

Shakespeare's Epic Fairy Tales: Pericles and Cymbeline

Meeting Wednesdays & Fridays at 6:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on December 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27
This module looks at two late plays frequently overlooked in Shakespeare studies: Pericles, Prince of Tyre and Cymbeline. In Pericles, Shakespeare and collaborator George Wilkins present a medievalist fairy-tale of adventure on the high seas, set in the ancient Mediterranean and narrated by Middle English poet, John Gower. In Cymbeline, a princess’s attempt to rid herself of the suitor she loathes and reunite with the man she loves leads to a tangle of escapes, pursuits, and mistaken identities. Decried by some critics for their eccentric and eclectic plots, both plays feature grand voyages across land and sea, benevolent magic, and the loss and recovery of true love.
Precepted by Dr. Liam Daley

The Old Saxon for Old English Readers
Spotlight 

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 9:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on November 29, December 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, (skip 25), 27
Old Saxon, the continental cousin to Old English, was the language spoken in Northern Germany from the ninth to the twelfth century. It is closely related to and mutually intelligible with Anglo-Saxon, so Old English students will easily be able to read and understand it. The language boasts a number of smaller texts, but the Hêliand, an epic poem of nearly 6,000 lines, remains its most prestigious literary monument. It tells the story of Jesus Christ (the “Hêliand,” meaning “Savior”) reimagined as a Saxon lord with a retinue of twelve thanes, and it is comparable to the Old English Beowulf. In this module, we will read and discuss selections of this poem. Some familiarity with Old English is required.
Precepted by Dr. Isaac Schendel

Wayward Children Novellas: Part 1
First in the Series

Meeting Fridays at 7:00 PM Eastern for four 2-hour sessions on December 1, 8, 15, 22
Boarding schools have become a staple in fantasy, but Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children specializes in children that have stumbled into and then out of portals and haven't quite managed to adjust to being back from their adventures. There are three rules at Eleanor West's: No Solicitations, No Visitors, and No Quests.

Explore the first three novellas (Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, and Beneath the Sugar Sky) of the Hugo and Nebula-winning Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire. Join in for a discussion on portal fantasies, children's adventures, and what it can mean to believe in a world you may never see again.
Precepted by Laurel Stevens
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].