From "Medusa with the Head of Perseus" by Luciano Garbati (Used with permission by artist.)
Recently, I was one of the guests of honor at Mythmoot, an annual speculative literature conference hosted by Signum University. That is a sentence I still feel like I haven’t squared with properly. I was asked to give a keynote, to share the metaphoric stage with Dr. Faith Acker, Dr. Michael Drout, Dr. Tom Shippey, and of course Signum’s president, Dr. Corey Olsen (aka the Tolkien Professor)—all scholars, professors, and industry luminaries. I can scarcely wrap my head around it all even now. In that same company were dozens of attendees and other presenters who gave illuminating and well-researched talks. It was an amazing experience and a memorable weekend.
Mythmoot rolls around every June and is usually hosted at the National Conference Center (NCC) in Leesburg, Virginia. If you’re interested in future conferences but can’t make it, you can attend digitally. They’ve been making it a hybrid (in-person and remote) event for two years now. Signum University also hosts a number of smaller regional “moots” throughout the year—like Mountain Moot (CO) in September, New England Moot (NH) in October, or even their first overseas one coming next January, OzMoot (Brisbane, Australia). Well worth looking into!
So anyway, this year was Mythmoot IX, and the theme was Remaking Myth. With Signum’s blessing (and of course Tor.com’s own approval), here follows a contextually adjusted writeup of my Mythmoot keynote on this theme, which I titled “Dungeons & Dragons & Silmarils; or, The Modern Mythologizer.”
[What if the Minotaur knew how to knit?]