Myths are all around us. Statues of mythical heroes watch over us in our cities. “That’s a myth!”, we say when we want to stress that something is untrue. States use myths to legitimise their power and give the people a character to identify with. We consume myths in the cinema, television, streaming services, and books. We crave the catharsis of a well-told myth, feel empowered by our heroes and heroines and we feel thievish pleasure when we encounter a god of mischief like Loki or Hermes.
But what is a myth, actually? What makes them powerful? And what does myth tell us about human nature? Join us in an exploration of what it means to tell ancient stories today!
In this lab, we will first explore our own understanding of the phenomenon of myths. Roland Barthes’ Mythologies, Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth as well as The Hero with a Thousand Faces and Karen Armstrong’s A Short History of Myth will provide a theoretical background and deepen our understanding of the cultural phenomenon.
In the second part of the project, we will follow mythical tradition and retell the myths that need the telling. Each participant will choose their favourite myth and transform it into a new version of itself. At the end of the project, each participant will receive a digital collection of the project’s results.
Currently, the lab is open to students from Alanus University as well as the University of Bonn. We are in the process of developing a public version. If you’re interested in participating in the future, please drop me an email!