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.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Roehampton myth and children's culture researchers off to Cambridge including me to talk about autism...

I'm off to Cambridge later this month to take part in a conference I'm excited about and delighted to be playing a part in organising along with Frances Foster and Sonya Nevin. Why I'm mentioning the event on this blog is because it will be at the conference that I'll give the first of several presentations this year on my activities for autistic children.

The title of this posting is from the Roehampton News item on the event. This goes out to students and staff at the University - so here's the text for non-Roehampton people. Do click the link to the Cambridge page which includes Sonya's poster and more information about the event.

Roehampton classicists Professor Susan Deacy, Kimberly MacNeill, Jean Menzies, Dr Sonya Nevin and Dr Katerina Volioti will be joining an international team of academics, teachers and museum professionals in Cambridge on 18 February for a conference at the Faculty of Education exploring the place of classical myth in teaching and outreach.
The event, a follow up to 2017's Mythology and Education: Theory and Practice, also held in Cambridge, will explore the benefits - and pitfalls - of teaching myth and share practices and innovations.

The programme includes presentations by Susan Deacy on myth-themed activities for autistic children and by Katerina Volioti on leadership in children's books about classical myth. The event will also include a round table discussion by members of the Roehampton team contributing to a major international survey of classics in children's and Young Adult culture for the European Research Council project Our Mythical Childhood.

More information about the conference can be found here.