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The Roots of Imagination
Creating a Mythological Education  

A Conference for Educators and Lifelong Learners and Introducing
a New Degree Program

April 8–10, 2005
Santa Barbara, California

This conference introduces Pacifica Graduate Institute’s new M.A. Degree Program in Education, Mythology and Depth Psychology. Both the conference and the degree program have been inspired by Joseph Campbell’s belief that, through myth, the inexhaustible energies of the universe pour into human history and culture. It follows that symbol and metaphor add invaluable meaning to our lives, capturing our attention and leading fantasy into imagination. Functioning as a comprehensive introduction to the degree program, this conference explores the exciting world of archetypal study and the many ways it can enhance the teaching/learning experience by:

  • Integrating myth into vocational and personal pursuits 
  • Stimulating the deep psyche through image, theater, storytelling, dreamwork, and dialog 
  • Demonstrating applied tools and methods of a mythological education curriculum
  • Reawakening imagination in oneself and in the learning process
  • Collaborating in a community of like-minded individuals 

The Need for a Mythological Education

In most American schools, myth, art, and imagination are marginalized, while science, technology, and math take center stage. The absence of these important elements signals a loss of soul in the educational process and ultimately in the learner, no matter what the age. When personal learning and formal educational processes are rooted in the rich soil of myth, literature, and image, they emerge organically. Mythic education opens our archetypal heritage, stimulating natural tendencies toward growth and development. Learning, informed by psyche’s stories, unfolds with creativity and passion. Learning becomes ensouled and imagination is restored. As our experiences are understood through myth and metaphor, we deepen our ability to carry life’s joys and sorrows.

Conference Presentations Include:

Education, Imagination, and Myth 
James Hillman, psychologist, scholar, international lecturer, author
The Roots of Learning: Myth, Knowledge, and the Sacred 
Michael Meade, mythologist, author, founder/ director of Mosaic Multicultural Foundation
The Mythic Intervention: Stimulating Adolescent Psychological Development 
Maren Hansen, psychotherapist, teacher, author
Educating the Global Citizen: A Mythic Perspective 
Robert Walter, President and Executive Director of The Joseph Campbell Foundation 
Teaching the Teachers: A Return to Mythopoetic Knowing 
Dennis Patrick Slattery, author, Pacifica Graduate Institute core faculty member 
Arrowmakers: Mythology in Early Childhood Education
Gerald McDermott, author, artist, Caldecott medalist
Harvesting Mythologies: Resources for Educators and Lifelong Learners 
Cindy Carter, Pacifica Graduate Institute core faculty member
Myth in the Classroom: Practical Applications of Mythic Education 
Selden Edwards, educator, Pacifica alumnus
Waters of the Earth: Multicultural Tales of the Sea (a performance) 
Dancing with Dionysus: Reigniting Myth through Theatre
BOXtales Theatre Company, a multicultural, multi-disciplinary theatre

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