Mythcon 43 Program Schedule

Clark Kerr Campus, Berkeley, CA, August 3-6, 2012

Revised version as of July 23, 2012

Send comments to David Bratman,


The main programming building is Building 14. Krutch Theatre is the main hall. Rooms 102 and 104 are along the main floor corridor. Rooms 203 and 204 are on the upper floor.

Other programming locations: The Business Center is in the basement of Building 12, and may be reached behind the back door of Building 14. The Great Hall, Garden Room, and Executive Dining Room are in the dining hall, Building 10. Hospitality, Film Program, and Bardic Circle are in Building 2; inquire locally for directions.

Program items have been allotted time slots, but need not take up the full time. Panels and papers will be followed by questions and discussions.

Meals are buffet, and the hours given are serving times (yes, you can still get breakfast at 8:25). Meals are only available for persons who purchased packages before the Conference: attendees without meal tickets will need to eat off campus or bring their own meals.

Beginning times in italics are approximate.


Friday, August 3

Registration is open 12 noon to 6 pm (lobby of the administration building, Building 1). Afterwards, look for Lisa Deutsch Harrigan around Krutch Theatre or Hospitality.

Dealers’ Room (Room 204) opens for set-up at 12 noon, and is open to the general Mythcon public 2-5 pm. Art, books, and mathoms for auction will be displayed in the dealers’ room and the back of the adjacent Room 203.


3:00-4:00 Paper: Arden Smith, “Mr. Took and Mr. Brandybuck, and this is Sam Gamgee. My name is Yamanoshita” (Room 102)

Paper: Valerie Estelle Frankel, Unbound: Comparing Eastern and Western Cinderella Novelizations (Room 104)

4:00-5:30 Discussion: The Poetry of Charles Williams (Room 203)

The poetry of the Inkling Charles Williams, especially his Arthurian cycle, Taliessin through Logres and The Region of the Summer Stars, is worth a lifetime of study. Here’s a session to read some of it aloud and to begin to explore its depths. Everyone from readers who know it all to those who’ve never encountered it before are welcome.

Eric Rauscher (facilitator)

4:00-5:00 Reading: Richard A. Lupoff (Room 104)

Author of Sword of the Demon, Marblehead: A Noval of H.P. Lovecraft, and others.

4:30-5:30 Paper: Alyssa House-Thomas, The Wondrous Orientalism of Lord Dunsany (Room 102)

5:30-7:00 Dinner (Dining Hall)

7:30-8:30 Concert: Brocelïande (Krutch Theatre)

Regular Bay Area Mythcon favorites, this trio performing Medieval and Renaissance music of the European courts and countryside will favor us with selections from their repertoire with an emphasis on Middle Eastern-flavored pieces in keeping with the Mythcon theme, and a few selections from their perennial favorite album of Tolkien poetry settings, The Starlit Jewel.

8:30 pm on Stewards’ Reception (Hospitality)

A casual meet-and-greet hosted by the Mythopoeic Society’s governing body, the Council of Stewards. Food and drink will be served, and everyone is welcome.

Mad Doctor Smith's Video Laboratory (film program)

See separate handout for the bill of fare.

Bardic Circle


Saturday, August 4

Registration is open in the morning in the lobby of the Krutch Theatre. At other times, look for Lisa Deutsch Harrigan.

Dealers’ Room (Room 204) is open 10 am-5 pm.


7:00-8:30 Breakfast (Dining Hall)

9:00 am Procession (gather outside Dining Hall)

9:15-9:30 Opening Ceremonies (Krutch Theatre)

9:30-10:30 Guest of Honor speech: G. Ronald Murphy (Krutch Theatre), Yggdrasil and the Stave Church

10:30-12:00 Panel: East Meets West I: The Zheng He Panel (Krutch Theatre)

Asian explorers, like Admiral Zheng, have gone to some unusual and unexpected places. Hear what Eastern fantasy authors have brought to the West, which Western fairy tale characters and creatures have little-known Eastern origins and analogues, and how the East has arrived across the ocean and settled itself into Western fantasy.

Eleanor M. Farrell (moderator), Valerie Estelle Frankel, Malinda Lo, Richard A. Lupoff

10:30-11:30 Paper: Kelly Cowling, Things as They Are Meant to Be Seen: The Inklings and Aesthetic Theory (Room 102)

11:00-12:00 Reading: Diana L. Paxson (Room 203)

Author of the Chronicles of Westria, the Avalon series, the MFA-nominated The White Raven, and many others.

11:30-12:00 Paper: Penelope Holdaway, The Phoenix and the Leaf (Room 102)

12:00-1:30 Lunch (Dining Hall)

1:00-2:00 Panel: Mythcon Meets You (Room 203)

Are you new to Mythcon? Confused by something that’s neither a science fiction convention nor yet a dry academic conference? Want to know what to do, how to meet people, and why we’re all here? Hear our Mythcon legends explain how to get the most out of your weekend.

Eric Rauscher (moderator), Lisa Deutsch Harrigan, Lynn Maudlin, Sherwood Smith

1:00-1:30 Paper: Matthew Minner, The Sword and the Brush: Introduction to Chinese Wuxia (Room 102)

1:30-2:00 Paper: Megan Grove, The Earth and the Self are Dragons: Chinese Ritual, Tolkienian Subcreation, and the Mythopoeic Pursuit of Understanding (Room 102)

1:30-2:30 Paper: Andrew Hallam, Thresholds to the Marvelous? Allegory and Irony in Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files (Room 104)

2:00-3:30 Panel: Myth Meets Religion (Krutch Theatre)

Is mythology religion? Is religion mythology? What kind of spiritual resonance and reverberation do you get when you clang them together? Hear perspectives both Christian and non-Christian on what makes the mythopoeia in mythopoeic literature really click.

Sarah Beach (moderator), Tim Callahan, G. Ronald Murphy, Diana L. Paxson, Donald T. Williams

2:00-3:00 Paper: Natalia Tuliakova, Asian Legends in European Context: D. Mamin-Sibiryak’s Legends (Room 102)

2:30-3:30 Paper: Danielle Crawford, Renegotiating the Politics of Myth: Asian American Identity in Amy Tan’s The Hundred Secret Senses (Room 104)

3:00-3:30 Paper: Alex Taylor, O Most Noble Greenness: Language, Tradition, and the Making of Myth in Yuki Urushibara’s Mushishi (Room 203)

3:30-5:00 Panel: Myth Meets Fiction (Krutch Theatre)

Suppose you’re a modern writer who wants to put a myth or a fairy tale in your story. What do you do? You can flesh out the plot and characters to novel length. You can mix it up with other topics. You can hide it underneath the story and surprise the reader when it erupts. You can tell the rest of the story, the part that the myth left out. Hear about all these varied approaches.

Sherwood Smith (moderator), Alexis E. Fajardo, Lisa Goldstein, Malinda Lo, Susan Palwick

3:30-4:30 Paper: Brian Godawa, Leviathan vs. the Storm God: Biblical Authors’ Appropriation and Subversion of Ancient Near Eastern Mythopoeia (Room 102)

4:00-4:30 Paper: Madhumita Dutta, Archetypal Myth and a Modern Epic: A Reading of Sri Aurobindo’s Epic Savitri: a Legend and a Symbol (Room 203)

4:30-5:00 Paper: Sean Ryan Robinson, Out of the Wardrobe (Room 102)

4:30-5:30 Paper: Scott Holbrook-Foust, Rays of Light in the Northern Night (Room 104)

5:00-6:00 Paper: Eleanor M. Farrell and Lynn Maudlin, Auspicious Guardian, Dreadful Wyrm: Eastern and Western Views of the Dragon (Room 102)

5:30-7:00 Dinner (Dining Hall)

7:30-8:30 Concert: Wadaiko Newark (Krutch Theatre)

A special presentation of ensemble taiko drumming from Japan, used traditionally to celebrate the harvest, to bring on the rain, to frighten away evil spirits, to intimidate the enemy in battle, and to communicate between villages.

8:30-9:15 Concert: David Van Loo and Lynn Maudlin (Krutch Theatre)

David and Lynn are veterans of “Lord of the Ringos” and discovered that they enjoy playing folk-based music together. Here’s some of it for you to enjoy.

9:00 pm Hospitality, Film Program, and Bardic Circle open


Sunday, August 5

Registration is open in the morning in the lobby of the Krutch Theatre. At other times, look for Lisa Deutsch Harrigan.

Dealer’s Room (Room 204) is open 10 am-5 am: take-down will begin in mid-afternoon. Material for auction will be gathered up for the auction at 2 pm.


3:33 am Sale of College Land (Building 5 ½)

7:00-8:30 Breakfast (Dining Hall)

9:00-10:30 Panel: East Meets West II: The Ulfilas Panel (Krutch Theatre)

Bishop Ulfilas brought Christianity to the Germanic peoples and translated the Bible into Gothic. Hear how Christianity and other religious and mythological thought from the East has permeated Western culture. Hear also what happened when Western writers of the 18th through 20th centuries put on their pith helmets and colonized the East in that Western way of theirs.

Janet Brennan Croft (moderator), Marie Brennan, Alyssa House-Thomas, G. Ronald Murphy

9:00-10:00 Paper: Jim Stockton, Telmarines, and Calormens, and Jinns! Oh, My!: Reflections on a Politically Incorrect Narnia in a Post-colonial Era (Room 102)

9:30-10:00 Paper: Coral Lumbley, Tolkien and the Transgressive Body: Subversions of Hetero-normativity in the Races of Middle-earth (Room 104)

10:00-11:00 Paper: Don Williams, Coming Home: The Influence of Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man on C. S. Lewis (Room 203)

Paper: Sam McBride, Imperfection, Folly, and Unaligned Evil in Middle-earth (Room 104)

11:00-12:00 Paper: David Oberhelman, From Iberian to Ibran and Catholic to Quintarian: Lois McMaster Bujold’s Alternate History of the Spanish Reconquest in the Chalion Series (Room 102)

Reading: Susan Palwick (Business Center)

Author of Flying in Place, Shelter, and the MFA-nominated The Necessary Beggar.

12:00-1:30 Lunch (Dining Hall)

1:00-2:30 Panel: East Meets West III: The Marco Polo Panel (Krutch Theatre)

Modern Marco Polos are Western authors who’ve brought back surprising treasures from the East and hidden them in their fiction. Hear how authors from the Inklings through George R.R. Martin to Catherynne M. Valente have incorporated Eastern elements in their invented universes, challenging readers to rethink notions of how the continents meet.

David Oberhelman (moderator), Leslie A. Donovan, Eleanor M. Farrell, Susan Palwick

1:00-2:00 Paper: Hussein Zamani, A Mythological Reflection on Modern Literature (Room 104)

1:30-2:30 Paper: Laura Smith, Who Moved My Hoard: The Reluctant Traveler Meets the Dragon (Room 102)

2:00-2:30 Paper: Kendra Kravig, One Name to Rule Them All: The Magic of Names and Its Connection to Religion in The Lord of the Rings (Business Center)

2:30-5:00 Auction (Room 203)

Books, art, and other treasures and mathoms on display in the dealers’ room and the back of room 203 will now be auctioned off to benefit the Mythopoeic Society. Bring your wallets, checkbooks, and bidding karma.

2:30-3:00 Paper: Natalie Romero, Music in the Void: Creation by Song in The Silmarillion and The Magician’s Nephew (Business Center)

3:00-4:00 Reading: Marie Brennan (Room 102)

Author of A Star Shall Fall, With Fate Conspire, and the forthcoming A Natural History of Dragons.

3:00-3:30 Paper: Kelly Orazi, Through the Wardrobe and Under-Hill: World and Setting in Children’s Fantasy Literature (Room 104)

3:30-5:00 Discussion: The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominees (Business Center)

Five novels of 2011 are up for this year’s Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, to be presented at Sunday’s banquet. And three novels and two series are awaiting the same award for Children’s Literature. (See the lists elsewhere in the Program Book.) Here’s a session to talk about these books and say which ones you consider most worthy of the award. Members of the award committee and anyone else interested in current fantasy are all welcome.

Berni Phillips Bratman and Bonnie Rauscher (facilitators)

3:30-4:00 Paper: Marjorie Ellenwood, The Problem of Calormen in Narnia: Racism and Islamophobia in C.S. Lewis and Recognizing Ancient Egyptian Influences (Room 104)

4:00-5:00 Paper: Rebecca Renee Hess, Katniss Everdeen, Girl on Fire : The Ambiguous Gender Role of the Female Hero (Room 102)

Paper: Jason Fisher, J.R.R. Tolkien: The Foolhardy Philologist (Room 104)

5:30-6:45 Banquet (Great Hall)

Menu: Sesame Noodle Salad, Lemongrass Steak, Adobo Pork, Steamed Tilapia with Ginger and Scallions, Tofu Pineapple Stirfry, Braised Baby Bok Choy, Jasmine Rice, Chow Mein, Seasonal Fruit Salad

6:45-7:00 Mythopoeic Awards presentation (Krutch Theatre)

Time approximate. Attendees without banquet tickets are welcome to join the diners after the conclusion of the meal to see the award presentation and the following …

7:00-8:00 Guest of Honor speech: Malinda Lo (Krutch Theatre)

8:00 pm Dramatic presentations (Krutch Theatre)

Readers theatre: The Queen’s Enemies (Krutch Theatre)

The Ersatz University Press Theatre Company, which makes its appearances only at selected Mythcons, introduces East to West with a reader’s theatre performance of The Queen’s Enemies, an orientalist play by the British fantasist Lord Dunsany (1878-1957), based on a story of an ancient queen that Dunsany heard while visiting Egypt.

Costume presentation

The user-friendly stage presentation of costumes. Participants should sign up at registration earlier in the conference: there are no skill divisions to worry about and our set-up is very low-tech. But nothing can be lower-tech than …

The Not-Ready-for-Mythcon Players

A new production, which — pending an adequate supply of ?? — will brilliantly weave current pop culture memes into the conference theme

after the show Hospitality and Film Program open


Monday, August 6

7:00-8:30 Breakfast (Dining Hall)

8:30-9:00 Paper: Janet Croft, Tolkien’s Faerian Drama: Origins and Valedictions (Garden Room)

9:00-10:00 Reading: Malinda Lo (Garden Room)

Our Guest of Honor, author of Huntress, the MFA-nominated Ash, and the forthcoming science fiction novel Adaptation.

Paper: Tony Zbaraschuk, Frodo, Lord of the Ring (Executive Dining Room)

10:00-10:30 Paper: Sarah E. Thomson, This also is he: Charles Williams’ Introductory Voice (Executive Dining Room)

10:00-11:00 Members’ Meeting (Garden Room)

All Mythcon attendees are welcome to this discussion of future Mythcon plans and other Society policies with the members of the Council of Stewards, the Society’s governing body.

11:00-11:30 Closing Ceremonies (Garden Room)

Time approximate: will begin at the closing of the members’ meeting. Includes the singing of the traditional Mythcon songs.

12 noon Deadline for room checkout (Building 1)