Theories & Links

Apocalypse, Ideology, America: Science Fiction and the Myth of the Post-Apocalyptic Everyday....As a child, lying in bed at night, I would hear airplanes pass overhead and imagine that they were carrying The Bomb, which was achieving less popularity in my generation (X) than in our generational antecedents; I dreamt of nuclear war, a total war that could only exist in the imagination.

Journalism as myth...Jack Lule examines the difference between news as "information" and news as "story" with characters, plot and theme. For Lule, myth does not mean untrue tales, but rather great stories emphasizing "archetypal figures and forms" and "exemplary models" that play crucial social roles

William Doty: Myth and Religion: The Same or Different?... Evaluating the Good and the BadI want to provide a sort of toolkit for myth analysis that I hope will provide a way to talk to people about why some myths contribute to mature communal values, and why others do not. Why it makes sense to talk about the fascism in Star Wars, all mingled together as it is with the latest technocinematic bells and whistles of cyberpunk.

John Adcox: Can fantasy be myth? Mythopoeia and The Lord of the Rings ... In short, my experience of reading The Lord of the Rings, like that of so very many other readers through the decades, was the kind that changes a person for all time, or at least inspires a life direction—and for me at least, even a sort of pilgrimage. That’s the sort of response that one usually has only to the most significant, the most sacred stories—the cultural heritage of truth disguised as narrative that serves as a guide through the dark forests of life. In short, myth.

Resources: Myth

The Mythic Imagination Institute

Mythic Imagination Institute offers conferences, performance festivals, and lectures as part of its larger purpose: the encouragment of creative response to life, our own individual lives, and our lives as families, tribes, communities, nations and as a world.

William Doty

William G. Doty, a key contemporary authority on mythography, is a prolific writer, translator, and editor who has published fourteen books and over seventy essays in a wide range of journals including religious studies, anthropology, psychology, classics, and art criticism.

James Elkins' Lawyers and Mythology

My interest in mythology has found its way into courses taught at the Department of Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and at the College of Law, West Virginia University. I am, as a perusal of these web-pages will indicate, with a deep debt to others, still trying to figure out what it means to have a mythic sensibility. I know only this: without myth we are lost in the swirling morass of the everyday and the cultural fashions of the moment.

Mythos & Logos

A terrific collection of links and some thoughtful essays from philosopher Brent Dean Robbins.

Mythic Franchises

A part of the American Superheroes site: links to work by William Doty, Matthew Wilhelm Kapell & John Shelton Lawrence on the mythic franchises of contemporary film


   This site was designed by Marcus O'Donnell for N&CA Summer 2005-2006