The Mythgard Institute

The Mythgard Institute seeks to make engaging, live online classes with leading scholars on Tolkien and other imaginative authors free and open to everyone.
Corey Olsen
Hollis, New Hampshire
United States
1 Team Member

The Mythgard Academy

The Mythgard Insittute was founded in 2011 as a new online academic center dedicated to promoting the study of imaginative literature and making academic resources more available to fantasy and science fiction fans around the world.  In the last two years, we have established a Master's degree program in literature and language with a concentration in imaginative literature and Tolkien studies, building an innovative, interactive online classroom that has made it possible for hundreds of students to study with world-renowned scholars.

This summer, Mythgard is launching a new program, the Mythgard Academy, through which we hope to make in-depth discussion of people's favorite works of fantasy and science fiction literature free and open to everyone.  The Mythgard Academy program will feature live discussions with Mythgard Institute faculty to which all are invited, free of charge.  Recordings of our sessions will be freely available after class, and we will let our supporters decide what books we read.  

Our Campaign Goals

In order to make Mythgard Academy classes numerous, diverse, and free to everyone, we need your support!  Organizing, hosting, and running courses takes a lot of resources and a dedicated team of people, and we want the Mythgard Academy courses to be something that we can offer consistently for months and years to come. 

In the 2013-2014 academic year, we will offer a class session for every $500 that we raise in this campaign.  If we hit our $10,000 goal, we will be able to offer 20 class sessions, either in one long course or in a series of shorter courses (whatever our supporters decide).  If we raise $20,000, we can offer 40 class sessions, allowing for a series of courses throughout the year.  Would you like to walk through the Chronicles of Narnia in 21 in-depth class sessions?  Interested in embarking on a study of The History of Middle-earth together, in 10 class sessions per volume?  How about a 6-session class on Frank Herbert's Dune, or perhaps Richard Adams's Watership Down?  Maybe a 24-session journey through the Harry Potter series, or a 13-session trip through Jim Butcher's Dresden Files?  What about a 5-session reading of Tolkien's newly-released Fall of Arthur, or even a 20-session course in which we read the medieval Arthurian legends that inspired Tolkien?  The possibilities are infinite, and we will leave the choice entirely up to you, our supporters.

Power to the People

Everyone will be invited to participate in our Mythgard Academy courses, but the decisions about which courses we offer will be left to our funders.  Everyone who pledges at least $25 to our campaign will receive at least one vote when we hold the election for which courses will be offered next.  And the more you donate, the more often you can vote!  Those who pledge $100 or more will be appointed to the Council of the Wise, the group in charge of nominating and deciding on the slate of finalists brought to the funders as a whole for the vote.  Can't afford to donate?  Help us spread the word!  The more support we get, the more free classes we can run.

Promoting the Study of Fantasy and Science Fiction

Any money raised in this campaign that does not go directly to the funding of the Mythgard Academy courses will be used to support the Mythgard Institute's larger vision of creatiing an inclusive academic community for the serious study of imaginative literature.  In addition to continuing to build our Master's degree program, we will also use extra funds to expand Mythmoot, our new annual conference for fans and scholars.  With enough support, we can also move ahead on many other planned Mythgard initiatives, such as hosting scholarly journals, encouraging creative writing, and making more academic resources available to the public.  We would also love to launch a series of talks and discussions by well-known authors, artists, filmmakers, and scholars.  

Thanks for your support of the Mythgard Institute, and we look forward to seeing you in class!

Find This Campaign On
raised by 223 people in 1 month
203% funded
No time left
$10,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on September 26, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Voluntary Assistant Postman

    The names of all our Voluntary Assistant Postmen will be included in a Roll and learned by heart by Shire-historians for generations to come.

    6 claimed
  • $10USD

    Shirriffs receive a cool Mythgard pin, which may be useful if you would like to walk around the country, see folk, hear the news, and know where the good beer is.

    27 claimed
  • $25USD

    Heralds receive a Mythgard mug, perfect for when you are sitting by the fire with the kettle just beginning to sing. Heralds also have the right to cast one vote when we ask our supporters to decide which classes we will offer next at the Mythgard Academy.

    74 claimed
  • $50USD

    Inkeepers receive a Mythgard T-shirt, which they can wear while playing host to the idle, talkative, and inquisitive among the inhabitants, large and small, of their villages. Inkeepers also receive two votes they can cast in favor of their class of choice when Mythgard Academy classes are selected.

    24 claimed
  • $75USD

    Rangers can choose among three gifts: a Mythgard tote bag, a Mythgard hoodie, or a signed copy of Prof. Olsen's book, "Exploring JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit." Rangers receive three votes when the time comes for supporters to select the next Mythgard Academy class.

    18 claimed
  • $100USD

    Marshals, like Rangers, receive their choice of one of three gifts: Mythgard tote bag, a Mythgard hoodie, or a signed copy of Prof. Olsen's book, "Exploring JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit." Marshals receive five votes to cast on the next Mythgard Academy class, and they also are granted membership in the Council of the Wise, the group of people who can nominate class ideas and decide on the final group of class options that will be presented to our supporters for a vote.

    25 claimed
  • $150USD

    Wardens receive their choice of any two of the three gifts presented to Rangers and Marshals. Wardens also are appointed to the Council of the Wise, and they receive eight votes in class selections.

    7 claimed
  • $200USD

    Mayors receive all three of the Rangers' gifts: a Mythgard tote bag, a Mythgard hoodie, and a signed copy of Prof. Olsen's book, "Exploring JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit." Mayors are appointed to the Council of the Wise, and they receive fifteen votes in class elections.

    7 claimed
  • $500USD

    Thains receive all three of the Rangers' gifts, as well a gift certificate for free tuition for an auditor's enrollment in a Mythgard Master's-level course. Thains also are members of the Council, and they receive forty votes in class elections.

    8 claimed
  • $1,000USD

    Gardeners (who are highly honored in our land) receive all three of the Rangers' gifts and a gift certificate for two auditor enrollments in Mythgard MA classes. Gardeners are Council members, and they receive one hundred votes when classes are elected.

    4 claimed
  • $5,000USD

    Healers, benevolent and wise, receive the Rangers' gifts and five free auditor enrollments for Mythgard MA classes. Healers also are given the right to name the topic of a class of their choice, subject to faculty approval. In subsequent elections that year, they cast one hundred votes, like Gardeners.

    0 claimed
  • $10,000USD

    The rule of no realm is yours, but all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are your care. Stewards receive the Rangers' gifts, as well as unlimited auditor enrollments in Mythgard MA classes for life. Like Healers, Stewards can name the subject of a class of their choosing, subject to faculty approval, and will receive a hundred votes at all subsequent class elections.

    0 claimed
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