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

Patrick Lyon

SPACE Preceptor

Patrick Lyon is a graduate of the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame and is currently in the midst of completing his Master’s Thesis with Signum University. [see full bio...]

All Modules

Adaptations of Middle-earth: From Deitch and Bakshi to Jackson

Discussion-based Format
The long and tangled history of cinematic attempts to bring the world of Middle-earth to the big screen is full of fascinating what-ifs, insurmountable setbacks, and ultimately a slew of good, bad, and utterly bizarre movies as a result. In this module we will dive deep into the cinematic adaptations of Middle-earth and watch our way through the Gene Deitch Hobbit (1966), the Rankin/Bass Hobbit (1977), the Bakshi Lord of the Rings (1978), the Rankin/Bass Return of the King (1980), and the Peter Jackson Trilogies over the course of a month, meeting for discussion of each film's cinematic and adaptational merits (or lack thereof). We will also cover some of the film versions that almost happened (such as John Boorman's completed script) and the complicated history behind the production of the films that did come to light. There is a lot of material to cover, but where there's a whip, there's a way.

Advanced Latin: Silius Italicus' 'Punica'

Discussion-based Format
Vergil gets all the credit for Epic Poetry in Latin, but the prize for the longest and grandest Epic Poem in the language actually belongs to Silius Italicus' treatment of Rome's most legendary struggle: the Second Punic War. Join in the triumph and tragedy and the tales of Fabius, Scipio, and Hannibal as we explore the Epic treatment of the most epic of ancient encounters.

Advanced Latin: Vergil's Aeneid in a Year

Discussion-based Format
Vergil's Roman Epic is one of the most important and influential works of literature in Latin. Following in the style and partially in response to Homer's Greek Epics in The Iliad and The Odyssey, Vergil's work follows the story of the aftermath of the Trojan War, tracing the tale of Aeneas as he embarks upon his divinely-sanctioned quest to find a new homeland and found his people anew. This class will explore the poetic and literary aspects of this Roman Epic while focusing on a month-by-month, book-by-book translation from the Latin.

Earendel Sprang Up From The Ocean's Cup: The Poetic Corpus of J.R.R. Tolkien

Discussion-based Format
Philologist, Professor, Parent, Friend, Author, Scholar, and Father of Fantasy. Tolkien was all of these things and more, but throughout his whole life (and in all these roles) he was also a poet. Tolkien's poetry often gets short shrift, as it is the first thing skipped by the amateur reader of The Lord of the Rings. Yet poetry was also the vehicle by which Tolkien first expressed his creative impulses, his love for his wife, and even his very first foray into the world of Middle-earth. With the new Collected Poems of Tolkien released in September, join us on our own journey through the poetic works of the man behind the legendarium. From his earliest "Earendel" poem to the structure of Quenya poetry, we will discuss the meaning and the structure behind his poetry in a masterclass that will introduce students to the elements of poetic scansion and apply those principles to the developing skills and interests of the author of the century over a span of more than sixty years.

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Life in Letters

Mixed Lecture/Discussion Format
How do you pick up the threads of an old life? Come and take a deep dive, attempting to do just that, as we look into the life of the maker of Middle-earth! This series will go on an adventure through the life of Tolkien over three months through the lens of the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. As the module follows the narrative presented in Tolkien's own words in his letters, the class sessions will allow for discussions of Tolkien's thoughts and problems as he raises them --- as well as the chance to read and discuss selections of his creative works along the way.

Throughout the course, we will be discussing the events of Tolkien’s life in tandem with the letters and filling out a more complete picture of the man through his work, his personal life, and his creative endeavours. Names, places, and stages of history can all too easily become abstractions on a page but, in this course, we will see the way in which Tolkien's personal environment was intimately connected to his works, and how it shaped the life of the man behind the legendarium.

You can join us for the whole series or just jump in a month at a time as we explore the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien!

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Life in Letters 1

Mixed Lecture/Discussion Format
How do you pick up the threads of an old life? Come and take a deep dive, attempting to do just that, as we look into the life of the maker of Middle-earth! This series will go on an adventure through the life of Tolkien over three months through the lens of the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. As the module follows the narrative presented in Tolkien's own words in his letters, the class sessions will allow for discussions of Tolkien's thoughts and problems as he raises them --- as well as the chance to read and discuss selections of his creative works along the way.

Throughout the course, we will be discussing the events of Tolkien’s life in tandem with the letters and filling out a more complete picture of the man through his work, his personal life, and his creative endeavours. Names, places, and stages of history can all too easily become abstractions on a page but, in this course, we will see the way in which Tolkien's personal environment was intimately connected to his works, and how it shaped the life of the man behind the legendarium.

You can join us for the whole series or just jump in a month at a time as we explore the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien!

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Life in Letters 2

Mixed Lecture/Discussion Format
How do you pick up the threads of an old life? Come and take a deep dive, attempting to do just that, as we look into the life of the maker of Middle-earth! This series will go on an adventure through the life of Tolkien over three months through the lens of the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. As the module follows the narrative presented in Tolkien's own words in his letters, the class sessions will allow for discussions of Tolkien's thoughts and problems as he raises them --- as well as the chance to read and discuss selections of his creative works along the way.

Throughout the course, we will be discussing the events of Tolkien’s life in tandem with the letters and filling out a more complete picture of the man through his work, his personal life, and his creative endeavours. Names, places, and stages of history can all too easily become abstractions on a page but, in this course, we will see the way in which Tolkien's personal environment was intimately connected to his works, and how it shaped the life of the man behind the legendarium.

You can join us for the whole series or just jump in a month at a time as we explore the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien!

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Life in Letters 3

Mixed Lecture/Discussion Format
How do you pick up the threads of an old life? Come and take a deep dive, attempting to do just that, as we look into the life of the maker of Middle-earth! This series will go on an adventure through the life of Tolkien over three months through the lens of the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. As the module follows the narrative presented in Tolkien's own words in his letters, the class sessions will allow for discussions of Tolkien's thoughts and problems as he raises them --- as well as the chance to read and discuss selections of his creative works along the way.

Throughout the course, we will be discussing the events of Tolkien’s life in tandem with the letters and filling out a more complete picture of the man through his work, his personal life, and his creative endeavours. Names, places, and stages of history can all too easily become abstractions on a page but, in this course, we will see the way in which Tolkien's personal environment was intimately connected to his works, and how it shaped the life of the man behind the legendarium.

You can join us for the whole series or just jump in a month at a time as we explore the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien!

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Life in Letters 4

Mixed Lecture/Discussion Format
How do you pick up the threads of an old life? Come and take a deep dive, attempting to do just that, as we look into the life of the maker of Middle-earth! This series will go on an adventure through the life of Tolkien over several months through the lens of the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. As the module follows the narrative presented in Tolkien's own words in his letters, the class sessions will allow for discussions of Tolkien's thoughts and problems as he raises them --- as well as the chance to read and discuss selections of his creative works along the way.

Throughout the course, we will be discussing the events of Tolkien’s life in tandem with the letters and filling out a more complete picture of the man through his work, his personal life, and his creative endeavours. Names, places, and stages of history can all too easily become abstractions on a page but, in this course, we will see the way in which Tolkien's personal environment was intimately connected to his works, and how it shaped the life of the man behind the legendarium.

You can join us for the whole series or just jump in a month at a time as we explore the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien!

The Iliad in Translation, Part 1

Discussion-based Format
Homer's Iliad is the foundational text of Western Literature, focusing on powerful perpetual problems of human life and experience: the desire for glory, the destructiveness of war, the struggle against overwhelming fate, the complex and powerful bonds of family, and the unexpected value of pity. Its impact can hardly be underestimated, as the list of its direct descendants stretches from "The Aeneid" to Milton's "Paradise Lost" and beyond, and the works that it has inspired are too many to count. Whether you are a newcomer or an old friend of the text, there is always something new, arresting, strange, and poignant to be found in the story that started it all. Come join in the exploration!

The Latin Vulgate Bible Series

The Vulgate Bible is one of the most significant Latin texts ever written. Jerome's Latin translation is not only a significant literary work, but is also a more intuitive text to translate, given the familiarity of Biblical texts to many people. This series is geared towards those who already have a good grasp of the case and conjugation system of Latin as well as basic grammar and vocabulary.

The Story of Cinema: A SPACE Odyssey

Discussion-based Format
How did cinema develop from a curiosity of the early 20th century to the multi-billion dollar industry it is today?

The story of the rise of filmmaking as both mass entertainment and an art form is a tale of epic proportions that is still in the making. From Victor Fleming to Tarantino and John Ford to Spielberg, the medium of film has turned into the backbone of modern storytelling. Just as the novels of Dickens and Cervantes captured the attention and imaginations of generations of audiences, the classics of cinema will provide food for thought and discussion for generations to come. Take a deep dive with us into the greatest and most fascinating movies that cinematic history has to offer as we make an Odyssey through the stories that made film the art form that it is today. Join in with our analytical discussions led by a professional film critic and movie podcaster, and together we will explore the enduring quality of the best that film has to offer.

For the first module of this series, "The Story of Cinema: A SPACE Odyssey," we will be exploring some of the most unique and innovative space and science fiction films in history:

• Class 1: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
• Class 2: Star Wars (1977)
• Class 3: Alien (1979)
• Class 4: Blade Runner (1982)
• Class 5: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
• Class 6: Minority Report (2002)
• Class 7: Interstellar (2014)
• Class 8: Arrival (2016)

The Vulgate Bible 1

The Vulgate Bible is one of the most significant Latin texts ever written. Jerome's Latin translation is not only a significant literary work, but is also a more intuitive text to translate, given the familiarity of Biblical texts to many people. This is the first module of the Vulgate Bible series, geared towards those who already have a good grasp of the case and conjugation system of Latin as well as basic grammar and vocabulary.

All Modules as Subsection Preceptor

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