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

January 2024March 2024

February 2024 Modules

Advanced Old English Series: Readings in Poetry First in the Series Candidate

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 7:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26
Welcome to the Readings in Poetry page for the Advanced Old English Series in which students explore, in alternating months, a work of prose and then a work of poetry to introduce students to the breadth and depth of Old English texts available for study. Each month Dr. Swain surveys the group to see what they want to tackle next from month to month.

Precepted by Larry Swain

A Haunting on the Hill: Elizabeth Hand’s Answer to Shirley Jackson Candidate

Meeting Tuesdays & Fridays at 8:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27
For the very first time, Shirley Jackson’s estate has authorized a book inspired by Shirley Jackson’s work. The 2023 novel A Haunting on the Hill by author Elizabeth Hand (a three-time Shirley Jackson, World Fantasy, and Nebula Award winner) is a direct response to Shirley Jackson’s 1959 classic story The Haunting of Hill House. How does Elizabeth Hand challenge, update, and/or expand on the ideas of Shirley Jackson? How well does A Haunting on the Hill continue the tale of The Haunting of Hill House and/or stand on its own as a work of Gothic horror?

In this module, we will consider the challenges of the sequel or “inspired-by” work, discuss A Haunting on the Hill both in its context and on its own merits, note how the novel fits into Elizabeth Hand’s larger body of writings, and explore the ongoing relevance of the Gothic to 21st-century readers.

Note: This module follows the module "The Haunting of Hill House."

Precepted by Amy H. Sturgis

Creative Writing: Character & Voice (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series Candidate

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 9:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26

In this craft-focused module, you will discover techniques of characterization and voice, two of the biggest things readers are looking for. You will see how a character’s verbal and non-verbal communication reveals who they are, while also developing your own individual narrative voice. In class, you will analyze film clips and excerpts from published authors to unpack their techniques, before applying them in short writing exercises. In workshops, you will have the opportunity to share your novel-in-progress and receive feedback in a kindness-first, supportive environment. In your journal, you will track your progress and moments of unexpected, joyful discovery as you continue your novel. The module aims to hone your skills in creating organic dialogue, and boost your confidence in your own voice.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time (the only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Tree Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort). Each module is designed to stand alone without prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. In a writing journal, you will track your progress and moments of unexpected, joyful discovery as you continue your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video here.

Creative Writing: Workshop Candidate

Meeting Mondays & Thursdays at 6:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26
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 space@signumu.org 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 Christopher Bartlett

Exploring Journey to the West Candidate

Meeting Mondays & Wednesdays at 9:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28
One of the most beloved of all classical Chinese novels, Journey to the West features Monkey, Pig, Sand-demon, White Horse, and the monk Tripitaka as they make a pilgrimage from Tang-dynasty Chang’an to India to bring back Buddhist scriptures, having outrageous adventures all along the way. Full of humor and wit, this is a major work of East Asian fantastic literature. Come along with Monkey and the gang for a tour through this foundational text!

Precepted by Robert Steed

Exploring William Gibson's Jackpot Candidate

ASKED: Meeting Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 7:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
Attn: All continua enthusiasts and stub residents, join us as we delve into the world of William Gibson's recent novel and Amazon Prime series, The Peripheral. A world of branch universes, nanobot assassinations, attenuated time travel and kleptocrats, all under the ever-watchful Periwinkle eyes of Detective Inspector Ainsley Lowbeer and the looming Jackpot. If you have read the novels already, this is a great chance to revisit them in light of the Amazon series for The Peripheral which began in 2022. If you have never read William Gibson, this is an opportunity to explore Gibson's particular flavor of fast-paced action, braided narratives, and provocative ideas.

Precepted by Patrick Malloy

Ink Spots and Tea Stains: What we Learn from C.S. Lewis' Writing Habits Spotlight  Candidate

ASKED: Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27
C.S. Lewis is one of the most prolific and influential writers of the 20th century. And yet, in his early career as an Oxford don, he viewed himself as a failed poet. Moreover, his most canonical and transformational writing happened during the most stress-filled periods of his life. This short course allows students to peek into the writing life of C.S. Lewis. Our goal is to see through the lines of printed text by visiting the letters and archival remains of Lewis in a virtual setting. Most of C.S. Lewis' papers remain undigitized and unpublished, available only locally at archives in North America and England.

As Professor Brenton Dickieson has visited these archives, he is able to invite students to appreciate C.S. Lewis' writing life by looking at the way that he consciously and unconsciously built his literary career. This course is for writers who are developing their own habits and literary life-prints, as well as folks who are curious about C.S. Lewis's life beyond the biographies and bestselling books.
Precepted by Brenton Dickieson

Introduction to Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales Candidate

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 6:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27
Poignant, hilarious, ironic, sad, beautiful, Oscar Wilde’s literary fairy tales evoke vivid and intense imagery and discuss topics such as social status, wealth, and Christianity. In this module, we will read and discuss some of Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales. We will talk about the plot, characters, specific nuances of the language, use of irony, and symbolism. We will also read stories that influenced some of the tales, especially Andersen’s tales such as “The Little Mermaid,” “The Shadow,” “The Darning Needle,” and others.
This module is part of a two-module series, but each one stands alone and is independent from the other. In the first module, we will talk about the fairy tales from The Happy Prince and Other Tales , and in the second module we will discuss A House of Pomegranates .

Precepted by Pilar Barrera

The Making of a King: Shakespeare’s “Henriad" Candidate

Meeting Mondays & Fridays at 6:00 PM Eastern for eight 1-hour sessions on February 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26
"What art thou that counterfeit’st the person of a king?” This is the question asked (in more ways than one) by Shakespeare’s coming-of-age trilogy about England’s most popular medieval monarch—King Henry V. Beginning with his youth in King Henry IV, Part 1, we see the riotous Prince Hal grow from wastrel, drunkard, and companion of highway robbers into the royal figure his war-torn country needs. After relapsing in Part 2, to the great consternation of his dying father King Henry IV, we finally see Hal lead his subjects on the battlefields of France as the mature king in Henry V. Charting his course between the demands of his kingly father, the peculiar philosophy of his friend and mentor, the exuberant Sir John Falstaff, and the dangers posed by a series of political and military rivals, Prince Hal becomes King Henry V by learning what it means to “act” the part of a king in the ways that matter most.
Precepted by Liam Daley

Tolkien and the Romantics: Forging Myth and History Candidate

Meeting Tuesdays & Thursdays at 1:00 PM Eastern for seven sessions, usually 1-hour, on February 1, 6, 8 (90 minutes), 13, 15, 20, 22 (90 minutes)
J.R.R. Tolkien famously 'found' his legendarium, translating and editing The Red Book of Westmarch for his twentieth century readers. This is not the first time an author has 'forged' a 'lost' literary history as James Macpherson's 'Ossian' documents from the 1760s started a craze for forgeries. Thomas Chatterton's Rowley and Turgot manuscripts similarly fed off the Ossian controversy while questioning what it really meant to 'forge' a document.

The module is structured as follows:
• Class 1: ‘Reclaiming’ ‘Lost’ and ‘Found’ British Myths and History (60m)
• Class 2: The Growth of Romantic Nationalism (60m)
• Class 3: The Book of Lost Tales: A ‘Mythology for England?’ (90m)
• Class 4: Oral Tradition: Immortality and the Elves (60m)
• Class 5: Oral Tradition: Youthful Cultures (60m)
• Class 6: Textual Traditions: Mortal Anxiety (60m)
• Class 7: Textual Traditions: Tangible History (90m)

Precepted by Will Sherwood
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].