Why mythology and autism?

Why mythology 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.

March-April 2020

Here is what I am planning to do over several postings this Spring – to straddle Autism Awareness Week in late March and early April. Lately, I have been overhauling my chapter for Mythical Hope, the first of the books from the ERC-funded Our Mythical Childhood project. It was presenting Hope-themed material in the autumn of 2019 that got me to look in new ways at what I had previously written. Here I put my project again under an aegis of Hope, and I’d welcome feedback!



Friday, 20 March 2020

Hercules: Bearer of Hope for Autistic Children? Re-introducing Mythical Hope



 T. B. Huxley-Jones, Joy of Life Fountain (1963), Hyde Park
"L'enfance
Qui nous empêche de la vivre
De la revivre infiniment
De vivre à remonter le temps
De déchirer la fin du livre"

"Childhood: who stops us from living it, from reliving it infinitely, from living by rewinding time, by tearing up the end of the book?"

Jacques Brel, L’Enfance





Here is what I am planning to do over several postings this month and the next – to straddle Autism Awareness Week in early April. Lately, I have been overhauling my chapter for Mythical Hope, the first of the books from the ERC-funded Our Mythical Childhood project. I am going to share work from this chapter – it was presenting Hope-themed material in the autumn of 2019 that got me to look in new ways at what I had previously written. Here I put my project again under an aegis of Hope, and I’d welcome feedback!

Coming next: "Childhood: a mythical time..."

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