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Mythgard Academy

Fantasy & Science Fiction Podcasts

Mythgard Academy aims to make engaging discussions of fantasy and science fiction literature free and open to everyone. The Mythgard Academy program features live discussions with Dr. Corey Olsen, The Tolkien Professor, and other experts on speculative fiction. Books are nominated and voted on by our supporters, and recordings are available for free via podcast and the Signum University YouTube channel.

Mythgard Academy aims to make engaging discussions of fantasy and science fiction literature free and open to everyone. The Mythgard Academy program features live discussions with Dr. Corey Olsen, The Tolkien Professor, and other experts on speculative fiction. Books are nominated and voted on by our supporters, and recordings are available for free via podcast and the Signum University YouTube channel.

Location:

United States

Description:

Mythgard Academy aims to make engaging discussions of fantasy and science fiction literature free and open to everyone. The Mythgard Academy program features live discussions with Dr. Corey Olsen, The Tolkien Professor, and other experts on speculative fiction. Books are nominated and voted on by our supporters, and recordings are available for free via podcast and the Signum University YouTube channel.

Twitter:

@mythgardian

Language:

English


Episodes

MSA028: Inferno, Class 20

4/3/2021
Week 20: Where we call bologna on Dante’s talent curbing and clearly see the simple summer simile. Where with Ulysses we pass the columns, and the poles, and founder on the shores of Mount Purgatory having found the earth round. Where we hear that one cannot logically be absolved before, or during, the commission of an evil deed or counsel. Sorry, not sorry, or something like that, Minos judges. And Dante litters his own path with cautionary examples; there but for the ‘rock’ goes he. For...

Duration:01:53:10

MSA028: Inferno, Class 19

3/28/2021
\Week 19: A Place Among the Classics In the seventh pocket of the eighth circle, the fraudulent thieves are beset with snakes. Dante calls them all serpents, but some have six legs, and some none; some are caliente, peppercorn serpents, and some are winged, fiery dragons; some are smoking, and some are boring. Later, while describing the transformations from snake to thief and thief to snake, Dante disses Ovid and Lucan, two poets he wished to be named with back in Limbo. For more...

Duration:01:32:07

MSA028: Inferno, Class 18

3/19/2021
Guess what sin is punished by snakes. And cyclical incineration.

Duration:01:49:10

MSA028: Inferno, Class 17

3/14/2021
Week 17: Now into the second half of the Malebolge, we look back at the closing line of Canto 21 and The Comedy's lack of humor. Then on to Canto 23, where Aesop’s frog and mouse story is called upon to warn Dante against trusting too closely the partnership of Demons. And Virgil luges Dante down the rocky slope, making a quick escape from pocket 5 to 6, where they try to hide among the lead-lined, golden-robed hypocrites. For more information about the Mythgard Academy series on Dante's...

Duration:01:46:20

MSA028: Inferno, Class 16

3/6/2021
Tonight we encounter some really ... unexpected demons. What under the earth is going on here?

Duration:01:50:18

MSA028: Inferno, Class 15

2/28/2021
Week 15: We revisit the Baptistery of San Giovanni and notice the inversions in Dante’s destroying holy furniture to save a life while the popes destroy lives to save holy money for themselves. But what is with all the feet? And do you think Boniface saw the funny side of his little cameo, or would he be depressed in determinism like his predecessor having perverted the mechanism of forgiveness and having then no path to repentance? And here Virgil the ghost grabs Dante the flesh-man and...

Duration:01:52:47

MSA028: Inferno, Class 12

2/21/2021
Dante Finds Himself Among Friends Week 12: There are no poor people in rings 8 and 9 of the 7th circle of Hell, but no one sees clearly either. Dante condescends to walk and talk with his old teacher Brunetto and stops to let three wealthy Florentine nobles ask for news from home. But everything about this tableau is inverted and full of oblique references. For more information about the Mythgard Academy series on Dante's Inferno, visit https://mythgard.org/academy/inferno/

Duration:01:51:08

MSA028: Inferno, Class 13

2/21/2021
Week 13: At the waterfall edge of the 7th circle Dante gives up his belt to conjure a ride. What is the truth which seems a lie? Poetic allegory of course. For Dante breaks the 4th wall to give his poem a name, Comedy, and to swear that he saw a beast swim in the air up the waterfall. Geryon is the impossible thing, but that’s ok, he’s a fraud. No, he’s The Fraud and through his depiction we see the truth. Fraud or no, the brute animal is the only way down into the 8th circle. And even with...

Duration:02:05:54

MSA028: Inferno, Class 14

2/21/2021
Week 14: True to the nature of Fraud, the 8th circle is an artificial construct of inverted imagery split into 10 concentric pockets, with bridges that look down upon each trench. The first pocket is a gender discriminated container for pimps and seducers, a sex traffic kept moving by demons with whips. The second pocket is an egalitarian circle of very rude words (What? Would you like to sugar coat with flowery language the circle of flattery?). The third pocket is for spiritual pimps, the...

Duration:00:03:07

MSA028: Inferno, Class 11

2/21/2021
Violence Against God Session 11: Still in the Seventh Circle, in the first ring of the third ring of the Violent, where the violent objector is the landscape itself, fiery sands and flaming rain that banish all growth, we see Capaneus stuck in his railing rebellion against Jove. In the Old Man of Crete we see from the Golden Age to the crumbling of the Kingdom’s of Mankind a cracked statue weeping tears into four mythic rivers. Three of the rivers come into Hell. One confounds Dante's sense...

Duration:01:42:54

MSA028: Inferno, Class 10

1/23/2021
Concerning Violence Session 10: Where we arrive on time to find the tormentors of the violent are themselves the violent. The symbolic Nessus, whose own blood became the instrument of the death of his enemies, is the gracious guide and ride for Dante across the field of blood and flame and into the black wood of the suicides. Where we pause and check our own souls, lest we be careless, for the Medieval mind held that to take one’s own life was to be both murderer and victim. And Dante, in...

Duration:01:59:37

MSA028: Inferno, Class 9

1/15/2021
Week 9: Where we stop and notice that the Medieval mind is not modern. And just as the organization of Hell was Aristotlean so too is the nature of physics and philosophy. As Virgil and Dante discuss the purpose and place of everything in the world, Prof. Corey reminds us that in their model the sun is Happy to go around the earth, and the rock is Happy to fall to the ground with a thud, and the soul is Happy to go toward the God who made it. Thus choosing to chart a different path is the...

Duration:01:38:13

MSA028: Inferno, Class 8

1/8/2021
The Mythgard Academy resumes our discussion of Dante's Inferno. Having gotten, with some difficulty, through the Gates of Dis, it is time to enter a new sector of Hell!

Duration:02:01:58

MSA028: Inferno, Class 7

12/19/2020
Class 7: Where we are reminded that Dante’s frame is a vision and an allegory and not a GPS-enabled map, and even more disturbing there are no bodies in the pageant he sees except his own. Yet, when they get to Dis, the locks may be disabled but so is their confidence; and now all Dis’ demons block their way and Virgil is dismayed. And the angel is full of disdain. And we distance ourselves from Virgil. And we leave Hell in disarray. For more information about the Mythgard Academy series on...

Duration:02:11:48

MSA028: Inferno, Class 6

12/11/2020
Class Six: Where Boethius and Dante do not understand Fortune, but Virgil does. And three of the 7 deadly sins make their appearance in a swampy, messy, mud wrestling fracas, where souls struggle against Fortune on multiple levels. And someone admits to being on the game show and to seeing someone fall! Apropos! And then there was a tall tower, with eyes. And here Dante refuses to faint but waxes eloquently unallegorical on the fate of his RL political enemy. For more information about the...

Duration:01:50:18

MSA028: Inferno, Class 5

12/4/2020
Class Five: Where we ask: Does Virgil recognize the shade of Aeneas’ Cerberus, and is his beast being punished here for its own appetite? And does Ciacco really want to be remembered for eternity as the man with mud on his face...? And though there is an order to the levels and punishments of Hell, the intended audience may not be obvious. And so we move from lust, through gluttony, but cannot be bothered to pause for sloth and end tonight with avarice. For more information about the...

Duration:02:03:53

MSA028: Inferno, Class 4

11/27/2020
Class Four: Where we digress, and agree with Aristotle. And then we think about Francesca da Rimini and Paolo and the very tragedy of their romance is the irony of their situation in the Second Circle of Hell. Is it really about turning Courtly Love on its head? Yup! And can Dante understand this intimately? Um, Dante? Oh, he has fainted again. And will we really enter the Third Circle of Hell on the day before American Thanksgiving? Where Cerberus, the three thoated doglike worm barks at,...

Duration:01:49:26

MSA028: Inferno, Class 3

11/20/2020
Class three: Dante was a poet of courtly love, and he perfected the art in pursuit of Beatrice; but here in the Inferno, he places her as his patroness in heaven sending him aid. He starts at the gates of Hell that say: Abandon all Hope; and The Divine Architect has the authority, wisdom, and love to accomplish justice here. Yet Dante must put cowardice aside and move forward through sweat and blood and tears. Past a river with a boat for the dead only, and past a Limbo where he writes...

Duration:01:59:49

MSA028: Inferno, Class 2

11/15/2020
Class Two: Where we set the frame, and meet the sun, and identify the scary beasts. And we see that the political, moral, spiritual, and poetical allegories blend and twist and illustrate each other. Can we dig deeper and find more treasures in Dante’s words? Oh, yes. Look how he places one moment in time! He never just says, ‘It was morning.’ No! He must take four lines to place his story in a celestial context with heavenly descriptions. And is that Virgil? And the Virgin Mary? And a host...

Duration:02:04:58