At the Symposium for the Study of Myth
Beth Anne Boardman, Ph.D. (Mythological Studies, 2012)
| originally posted 12 Sept 2012
The recent Symposium for the Study of Myth unfurled an amazing array of speakers, panelists, and uniquely mythic presentations in the midst of its celebratory three-day run. The festive atmosphere welcomed more than 200 participants from all over the country — all over the world, in fact! From Ireland to Japan to Australia and the United States, the study of myth revealed its epic reach, warming hearts, stimulating minds, and fostering connections.
The conference also marked the first joint project of Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Public Programs, the Joseph Campbell Foundation, and Opus Archives and Research Center. The gathering positively budded, blossomed, and burst with the excitement of the chance to immerse oneself in myth for three entire days! Goodwill and generosity of spirit perfused the event, and participants engaged in a robust array of observations, experiences, and opinions as the weekend progressed.
My experience at this conference differed in nature from others I have attended, because this time I served in the capacity of a volunteer “room-tender” — a.k.a. “myth-tender” for the event — assisting with room set-up and assuring that all presenters got their full allotment of time in the spotlight by keeping a hawk-eye on the clock. Wearing this robe still allowed me to take in many wonderful offerings: from mythic poetry to myth as group process; from Depth Psychological case studies to story-telling rocks; from group discussions to keynote and plenary speakers and performers.
Rich and far-reaching, the materials and experiences of the Study of Myth stirred the group psyche into passionate discussion of both shadow and light, and posed the essential and urgent question, “Where do we go from here?” A final conference-wide participation session in Barrett Center resulted in the production of proposed goals for the global future of the Study of Myth, so stay tuned to Pacifica, the JCF, and Opus for news of how, who, and what will carry the dream onward!