Why classical myth and autism?

Why classical myth and autism?

The idea for this project started to take shape at a meeting in 2008 with a special needs teacher, who mentioned that, in her experience and those of her colleagues, autistic children often enjoy classical myth. I began to wonder why this might be the case, and whether – as a classicist who researches, and loves, classical myth – there was anything I could contribute. I started this blog to report on my progress which was often sporadic until the launch of the Warsaw-based European Research Council-funded project Our Mythical Childhood (2016-21) to trace the role of classics in children’s culture.

My key contribution to the project is an exploration of classics in autistic children’s culture, above all by producing myth-themed activities for autistic children. This blog shares my progress, often along Herculean paths.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Inclusivity and Diversity in UK Classics Programmes

I've started this posting with an image that I've just chosen for a poster I'm currently putting together.  It's to advertise a workshop that I'm co-organising at Roehampton for this coming May.  The event will explore issues surrounding the creation of an inclusive and diverse classical curriculum and as one of our planned themes is disability, an image that conveys a Hephaistos one could read as variously marginalised or powerful seems fitting.  Here are draft details of the event:

Roehampton University, London, Thursday 23 May 2013 11.30am-3.30pm

This HEA-funded workshop aims to explore the extent to which UK Classics departments can improve on inclusivity and diversity in their student bodies. The idea for the workshop was generated out of work being done at the University of Roehampton in an HEA funded project on ‘Re-imagining Attainment for All’ which is investigating what factors enhance the success of and what elements are barriers to the success of for BME students. The workshop will also build on previous work at Roehampton into making learning happen for disabled students studying classical civilisation.

Topics to be covered include:

• What is the perception of Classics and related degree programmes such as Ancient History and Classical Civilisation among prospective students?

• Do some students feel excluded from studying Classical subjects?

• Why do so few students from particular black and minority ethnic groups apply to study Classical subjects?

• What support is there/should there be for disabled students, e.g autistic and dyslexic students?

• How can the degrees/curriculum be made attractive to a diverse range of students?
For further information, please contact Susan Deacy (s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk) or Fiona McHardy (f.mchardy@roehampton.ac.uk)