Programme Archive

For information on upcoming meetings, see the home page.

Below is an archive of meetings from 2009-2020.

Autumn 2020: Food

Meetings to be conducted over ‘Zoom’, on the following Wednesdays between 5.30 and 6.30 pm. See the home page for details.

  • 21 October: Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus
  • 4 November: John Keats, ‘The Fall of Hyperion. A Dream’
  • 2 December: Dubravka Ugrešić, Baba Yaga Laid an Egg
  • 16 December: Homer, The Odyssey

Quick links to the archive:

2019-20 | 2018-19 | 2017-18  |  2016-17  |  2015-16  |  2014-15  |  2013-14  |  2012-13  |  2011-12  |  2010-11  |  2009-10

Programme Archive


Autumn 2019: Myth and Childhood

Wednesdays from 13:15 to 14:45 in Room NTC. 3.06

  • 16 October: Dr Leon Burnett, The Childhood of the Hero in the Acritic Tradition
  • 6 November: Dr Leon Burnett, The Kathakali Man: Childhood in The God of Small Things
  • 13 November: Roundtable discussion: Changelings
  • 11 December: Dr Jeremy Solnick, Narnia: Reshaping Myth for Children and Adults

Spring 2020

Wednesdays from 13:15 to 14:45 in Room NTC. 2.07

  • 29 January: Carla Scarano, Intertextual references and myths in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • 5 February: Students from Ipswich Academy, Myths in the voices of children
  • 12 February: Roundtable discussion on Philip Pullman


Autumn Term 2018: Animals and Mythical Creatures.

Wednesdays from 5.00 to 6.30pm in Room NTC.2.05

  • 17 October: Dr Leon Burnett, An Assyrian Lamassu in London
  • 31 October: Léna Remy-Kovach (Freiburg), Windigos, Wingigog and Windikouk
  • 14 November: Dr Eirini Apanomeritaki and Dr Stefanie Savva: G. del Toro’s The Shape of Water (2017)
  • 28 November: Dr Adrian May (LiFTS): ‘Avianthropy’ and the sung ballad in The Earl of Mar’s Daughter
  • 5 December (PPS Open Seminar, 5.00 to 6.30 pm in Room 4N.6.1): Prof. Robert Segal, Myth and Science
  • 12 December: Helena Senior (York): Who’s afraid of the big black dog? The origins of the spectral hound and its appropriation in literature

Spring Term 2019: Animals and Mythical Creatures

Wednesdays (5-6.30 pm in Room NTC.2.05) or Thursdays (12-1.30pm in Room 5B.124)

  • Wednesday 23 January (5-6.30pm): Carla Scarano D’Antonio (Reading), Re-mythologizing Myths and Fairy tales: Surfacing (1972) by Margaret Atwood
  • Thursday 7 February (12-1.30pm): Prof. Roderick Main, Pegasus in Pindar, Kavanagh, and Jung
  • Wednesday 20 February (5-6.30pm): Dr Hanna Boast (Birmingham), The People of the Sea: Selkies in Scottish and Irish Folk Tales
  • Thursday 7 March (12-1.30pm): Jeremy Solnick
  • Thursday 21 March (12-1.30pm): Dr Anita Klujber


Autumn 2017: The Void

Thursdays, 12:00-1:30pm., Room 3.411

Friday 27 October

Translating Eurydice Conference

(UEL, Stratford Campus)


Beyond Orpheus Beyond Eurydice

by Ghost Jam


A one-day conference on myth in the twenty-first century organised by the Centre for Myth Studies, (Essex) and Psychosocial Studies (UEL)

The conference will be followed by an evening performance by Ghost Jam

2 November Dr Leon Burnett Taking Nothing for Granted: The Formless in its many Forms
9 November Eirini Apanomeritaki Pan’s Labyrinth (dir. Guillermo del Toro)
16 November Round Table Discussion chaired by Dr Leon Burnett  Aquatic Chaos (Part I)
23 November Round Table Discussion chaired by Robert W. Allen  Aquatic Chaos (Part II)
30 November  Rich Fliss Inner Void: Gyges’ Ring of Invisibility
7 December  Jeremy Solnick Representations of Chaos in Xhosa Myth & Storytelling
14 DecemberAfternoon session: 3.15-5.00pm in Room 4.204

Followed by drinks!

Katerina Volioti (University of Roehampton) The Visual Language of (Hesiod’s) Creation in Children’s BooksDr Volioti’s research is linked to the international project Our Mythical Childhood

Spring 2018: Trees & Forests

Thursdays, 12:00-1:30pm., Room 3.411

25 January Dr Leon Burnett The Dance of the Trees: the backward flight of time in The Lost Steps
1 February Dr Anita Klujber Rings & Ripples: A Mythic Structure of Growth in Denise Levertov’s ‘A Tree Telling of Orpheus’
8 February Eirini Apanomeritaki Tree Imagery & Symbolism in Herman Hesse’s Pictor Metamorphoses
15 February Jeremy Solnick Sacred Groves
22 February Dr Linda Jo Bartholomew Neil Gaiman’s ‘Snow, Glass, Apples’: Rewriting ‘Little Snow White’
Delighted to announce that in addition to the myth reading group session by Dr Bartholomew, the theme of Trees & Forests will be explored on #FolkloreThursday (@FolkloreThurs)!
1 March Robert William Allen Re-imaginings of myth in the landscapes of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Part I)(CANCELLED due to snow)
8 March John Driver Forbidden Fruit
15 March Robert William Allen Re-imaginings of myth in the landscapes of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Part I)
22 March Sarah Armstrong The forests of Moscow: the political fairy tales of Russia

Summer 2018: Trees and Forests

Thursdays, 12:00-1:30pm., Room 4.204 & Room 3.413 (21 & 28 June)

3 May Dr Leon Burnett A Tour in the Forest
Friday 11 May

The Old and the New

A One-day Symposium to mark the tenth anniversary of the foundation of the Centre for Myth Studies

11.00-17.30 in Room 4.722 (University of Essex)

The event includes: Introduction by the centre’s Director, Prof. Roderick Main (PPS), reading of “The Man of the Wood” by Dr Saul Andreetti (Bologna) & in conversation session with Dr Leon Burnett, keynote lecture by Prof. José Manuel Losada (Complutense University, Madrid), & seminar by Dr Pietra Palazzolo (Centre for Myth Studies & Open University)

Celebratory dinner at The Brasserie at Wivenhoe House (19.00)

Book your place on the Eventbrite page!


17 May Cristina Salcedo González

(Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

‘No roses, white or red, glow here’: the motif of the garden in the poetry of A. Swinburne & D. Greenwell
24 MayRoom EBS.1.1

Dr Dimitra Fimi (Cardiff Metropolitan University)

‘The Battle of the Trees’: from medieval Welsh legend to modern fantasy(Video Conference)
31 May Abigail Walker (Department of Classics, King’s College, London) Civilised garden or fantastical wilderness?: the ‘Garden Room’ in the Villa of Livia in Rome
7 June Amelia Starling (Content editor for #FolkloreThursday) The Significance of Trees in Japanese Culture, Religion, & Folklore
14 June Gillian Lock-Bowen Yggdrasil: from Norse Mythology to Anselm Kiefer’s art works
21 June Dr Emma Bridges (Institute of Classical Studies, London) Odysseus, Penelope, and the olive-tree bed of the Odyssey 23
28 June Robert William Allen (Open University) Re-imaginings of myth in the landscapes of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Part II)


Autumn 2016: Mythscapes

Thursdays, 12:00-1:30pm., Room NTC.2.06

3 November Dr Leon Burnett Naxos Revisited
10 November Dr Ben Pestell Après le déluge: Post-apocalyptic archaism
16 November Book Launch Symposium for Translating Myth hosted by The British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT) at The University of East AngliaSpeakers include: Dr Ben Pestell, Dr Pietra Palazzolo, and Dr Leon Burnett (Centre for Myth Studies); Professor Duncan Large (Director of BCLT), and Giuseppe Sofo (“Sapienza” University, Rome)
24 November Sally Pomme Clayton (storyteller) The Russian Forest—the landscape of Russian fairytales with ‘Babayaga’s Daughter’ (Performance event)
1 December Eirini Apanomeritaki Latin American mythscapes:Gabriel García Márquez’s Macondo
8 December Professor Roderick Main Mythscapes of a mind-doctor
15 December Robert W. Allen John Ruskin: Aspects of Mythscape

Spring 2017: Journeys

Thursdays, 12:00-1:30pm., Room NTC.2.06

2 February Dr Leon Burnett The Longest Journey: Inanna’s Descent
9 February Jeremy Solnick The Journey of the Hero in Contemporary Epic Poetry
16 February Eirini Apanomeritaki The politics of journey in Aristophanes’ Frogs
23 February Roundtable discussion chaired by Dr Pietra Palazzolo Sea Journeys
2 March Dr Pietra Palazzolo Creation myths in Ex Machina & Her
9 March Max Maher Nomadic Modernism: Aristeas as re-imagined by J.H.Prynne
16 March Fliss Rich Journeying from one life to the next: Reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhist writing, art & practice
23 March Professor Roderick Main ‘Route 110’: Heaney’s quotidian katabasis

Summer 2017: Myth & Magic

Thursdays, 12:00-1:30pm., Room 5A.118

4 May Professor Roderick Main ‘Route 110’: Heaney’s quotidian katabasis (Follow-up session)
11 May Round Table Discussion Myth & Magic
18 May Dr Leon Burnett Out of Nature: Myth and Magic in the Early Modern Period
25 May Jeremy Solnick Myth and Magical Realism in the work of Ben Okri and Zakes Mda
1 June Reading week See Amelia Starling’s guest post: Sleeping Beauty and the Fates of Mythology
8 June Shehzad Raj Dionysus, the Eastern Conjuror
15 June Professor Roderick Main Merlin & Faust: contrasting representations of magicians in Western literature
22 June Eirini Apanomeritaki Pan’s Labyrinth (dir. Guillermo del Toro)


Autumn 2015: Open Sessions

Thursdays, 12:00-1:30pm., Room 3.318

15 October Dr Leon Burnett The Uses of Myth: ‘The Witch à la Mode’
22 October Dr Linda Jo Bartholomew A. S. Byatt’s “Sea Story”: Mythic Tale or Moral Fable?
29 October Brittany Kuhn King Minos from Antiquity to the Present
5 November Eirini Apanomeritaki Judging Beauty: Reading Apuleius and Marie Darrieussecq
12 November Jeremy Solnick The Monsters in Beowulf
19 November Prof. Roderick Main Jungian Interpretations of Merlin
26 November(5pm) Dr Justine McConnell (Oxford University) “Junot Díaz and a Graeco-Caribbean Mythology”Centre for Myth Studies Seminar
3 December Dr Leon Burnett Stranded on Naxos: The Ambivalence of Ariadne
10 December Dr Ben Pestell Philomachy: Euripides’ The Trojan Women

Spring 2016: Afterlives

Thursdays, 12:00-1:30pm., Room 3.318

21 January Dr Leon Burnett Osiris: Egyptian God of the Afterlife
28 January Jeremy Solnick Dreams of Eland: San Myth and Rock Art
4 February Mikael Bang Heaven on Earth, or Earth Made Heavenly?
11 February Joyce Tye Demeter & Persephone: A Jungian Interpretation
18 February Prof. Roderick Main C. G. Jung’s Myth of Life after Death
25 February Eirini Apanomeritaki The Sibyl’s Afterlives
3 March Dr Anita Klujber Afterlife of Myth in Béla Bartók’s Cantata Profana
10 March Brittany Kuhn Narrating Persephone’s ‘Afterlife’
17 March(at 5pm in Room 5N.3.9 ) Dr Leon Burnett:Centre for Myth Studies Open Seminar:

Reading the Strands of Ariadne’s Story

Summer 2016: Afterlives

Thursdays, 12:00-1:30pm., Room 3.318

5 May Fliss Rich Tibetan Buddhist Views of the Afterlife
12 May Dr Ben Pestell The Age of the Rainmakers by Wilson Harris
19 May Jeremy Solnick The Engaged Afterlife of Lilith
26 May no session due to industrial action
2 June Eirini Apanomeritaki Myths of the Afterlife in E. Fakinou’s The Seventh Garment
9 June Professor Roderick Main Seamus Heaney’s Aeneid Book VI
16 June Dr Anita Klujber  ‘The Myth of Er’ in Plato’s The Republic
23 June Dr Jo Harwood (Director of ESCALA)  Joint CMS/ESCALA event


Autumn 2014: Myth and Metamorphosis

Thursdays, 1-2 p.m., Room 5B.332

30 October Jeremy Solnick Jo Shapcott’s Of Mutability
6 November Dr Pietra Palazzolo The Metamorphosis of Arachne
13 November Prof. Roderick Main Philemon and Baucis
20 November Dr Leon Burnett Arcady: the haunt of Pan
27 November Imen Cozzo Ibrahim Alkoni: the haunt of Man-Waddan
4 December Fliss Rich Metamorphosis in Olive Schreiner’s The Story of an African Farm
11 December Brittany Kuhn Rome’s Proserpinic Transformation

Spring 2015: Myth and Metamorphosis

Thursdays, 1-2 p.m., Room 5B.332

22 January Jeremy Solnick Alice Oswald’s Tithonus
29 January Dr Leon Burnett Eternal Bounty: Idun and her Apples
5 February Dr Pietra Palazzolo Graham Swift’s Waterland
12 February Brittany Kuhn Transforming Hawaii
19 February Prof. Roderick Main The Spirit Mercurius
26 February No MRG session, but see this reading event at Norwich Castle:

5 March Eirini Apanomeritaki The Minotaur in Twentieth- Century Art and Literature
12 March Petra McQueen Re-interpreting Narcissus: John Cheever’s “The Swimmer”
19 March Fliss Rich The Sun-Bushmen of the Kalahari

Summer 2015: Myth and Emotion

Thursdays, 1-2 p.m., Room 5B.111

7 May Jeremy Solnick Kate Tempest’s Brand New Ancients
14 May Dr Leon Burnett Marguerite Yourcenar’s “Our Lady of the Swallows”
21 May Dr Ben Pestell Myth and Terror
28 May Brittany Kuhn The Singing River of Pascagoula
4 June Prof. Roderick Main Myth, ecstasy, and objective cognition: the mystical visions of C. G. Jung
11 June Petra  McQueen “The Father Costume”: A Dystopian Odyssey?
18 June Eirini Apanomeritaki Werewolves and the Uncanny in Angela Carter’s Short Stories
Tuesday 23 June (5pm) Professor Sarah Annes Brown (Anglia Ruskin University) “Shakespeare and Myth-making” (Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies & Centre for Myth Studies Joint Seminar)


Thursdays, 1-2 p.m.

Autumn 2013 (Room 5N.7.23)

10 October

Leon Burnett

Europa: Myth and Continent

(5-6 pm; Room 5A.118)

7 November

Leon Burnett

Reading Faust

21 November

Open session

Myth and the Natural Environment

28 November

Roderick Main

Seamus Heaney’s Uses of Myth

5 December

Ben Pestell

Is Pan Dead?

12 December

Ole Wiedenmann

Heinrich Heine’s Germany. A Winter’s Tale

Spring 2014 (Room 5N.7.23): Poets’ Myths

16 January

Jeremy Solnick

The Death of Actaeon

30 January

Imen Cozzo

Giuseppe Ungaretti

20 February

Brittany Kuhn

Edgar Allan Poe

27 February

Ole Wiedenmann

Georg Trakl

6 March

Leon Burnett


13 March

Pietra Palazzolo

Demeter and Persephone

20 March

Ben Pestell

Fernando Pessoa

Summer 2014 (Room 5B.330): Myth in Fiction

8 May Leon Burnett Myth in Doris Lessing’s Briefinf for a Descent into Hell
22 May Jeremy Solnick Credo Mutwa’s uses of myth in Indaba My Children
29 May Pietra Palazzolo John Banville’s uses of myth
5 June Ben Pestell Myth in Donna Tartt’s The Secret History
12 June Leon Burnett Myth and ekphrasis in Victor Segalen’s paintings (1916)
19 June Abdul Atteh The myth of the ghoul and the desert in Arabic culture
26 June Brittany Kuhn Mythorealism in Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist
Animated GIF of posters for the Myth Reading Group, 2011-2014

Posters for the Myth Reading Group, 2011-2014


Thursdays, 5 – 6 p.m., Room 5A.118

Autumn 2012

18 October Ben Pestell Menelaus and Proteus
25 October Dr Leon Burnett Journey as Quest: Quest as Question
1 November Dr Cate Gunn Pilgrimage
8 November Ole Wiedenmann Samothracian Mysteries
15 November Jeremy Solnick Pilgrimage and perambulation
PLUS, after the meeting, FILM: The Tree Of Life. 7 p.m. in LTB 10, in conjunction with the Centre for Film Studies
22 November Dr John Cant Response to The Tree of Life
6 December Professor Roderick Main The Birth of Athena: Symbol, Myth, and Synchronicity
13 December You Xiao Chinese Creation Myths

Spring 2013: Creation Myths

17 January Dr Leon Burnett Norse Creation Myth
24 January Ben Pestell Ancient Greek Creation Myth
31 January Jeremy Solnick Zulu Creation Myth
14 February Stefanie Savva Aphrodite and Arodaphnousa in Cyprus
21 February Professor Roderick Main Khepri the Ancient Egyptian Scarab Deity
28 February Matthew Boyle Scriabin – Music as Myth

In Music Room B

14 March Dr John Cant Myths of the Political Origins of the USA

Summer 2013

2 May Dr Leon Burnett Orpheus returns
16 May Open session Prometheus
6 June Lydia Crow The Unique and the Usual: Orcadian Folklore


Tuesdays, 5 – 6 p.m.

Autumn 2011 (Room 5A.330):

Sacrifice in myth and religion

25 October Dr Leon Burnett Making Sacred
1 November Dr Cate Gunn Eucharist
8 November Suzanne Nolan Maya Self-sacrifice
15 November Ben Pestell Isaac versus Iphigeneia
22 November Abdul Atteh Sacrifice in Islam
29 November Dr Leon Burnett Child Sacrifice and Flaubert’s Salammbô
6 December Kopal Gautam Sacrifice in the Hindu Tradition
13 December Marie-Louise Mederer Inanna’s descent to the underworld

Spring 2012 (Room 5B.330):

Crossing Over : Myths of the afterlife ; afterlives of myth

17 January Leon Burnett Persephone – Extraordinary Renditions: To Hell and Back
24 January Anat Vernitski Baal’s Journey to the Underworld
31 January Open session Reflections on the underworld
7 February Ole Wiedenmann Greek and Biblical Myths in Eastern German Literature
14 February Alexei Vernitski The Helmet of Horror
21 February Ben Pestell Agamemnon’s Front Door
28 February Roderick Main Jung’s Night Sea Journey
6 March Jeremy Solnick The Golem – Creating the Human Facsimile: Tellings and retellings of the myth
13 March Cate Gunn Visions of the land of the dead
20 March Suzanne Nolan The End of the World – appropriations of Maya predictions

Summer 2012 (Room 5A.330): Orpheus

1 May Open session The Death of Orpheus (Ovid’s Metamorphoses)
8 May Lyndon Davies and

Penny Hallas

The Orpheus Project

(6 p.m. start)

15 May Leon Burnett Denise Levertov’s Orpheus
22 May Open session Further Orpheus poems
29 May Ole Wiedenmann Telipinu: Vanishing and reappearing Hittite gods


Tuesdays, 5-6 pm. Room 5B.114

Autumn 2010
12 October Ben Pestell The Oar
19 October Open session The Epic of Gilgamesh
26 October Saul Andreetti Retellings
2 November Dr Leon Burnett The Horse
9 November Open session Beowulf
16 November Open session Genesis
23 November Open session The Wisdom of Solomon
30 November Tony Wood The Wave
7 December Dr Cate Gunn Devils
14 December Marie-Louise Mederer Snakes
Spring 2011: Tree of Life
18 January Dr Leon Burnett Winter
25 January Open session Yeats
1 February Ben Pestell Tree of Life: Sacred Groves, Golden Boughs
8 February Dr Leon Burnett Tree of Life: Odin and the Ordinary
15 February Dr Cate Gunn Tree of Life: Dream of the Rood
22 February Tony Wood Tree of Life: Tolkien and Trees
1 March Dr Leon Burnett Tree of Life: Mann
8 March Dr Cate Gunn Tree of Life: Wildwood
15 March Dr Leon Burnett Tree of Life: Plutarch
Summer 2011
3 May Professor Kiyoshi Hamano (Kyoto Bunkyo University) Sukunahikona
10 May Alice Downer Ragnarök
24 May Professor Roderick Main Some characteristics of Celtic mythology
7 June Abdul Atteh The Story of Kawa and Newroz
14 June Suzanne Nolan Popul Vuh
21 June Dr Susan Oliver The Raven and the First Men
28 June Sharihan Al-Akhras Jinn in Islamic myth


Tuesdays, 5-6 pm.
Spring 2010

  • 2 March: Matt Boyle, Underworld
  • 9 March: Philippe Dauphin, Mysticism (Hermes Trismegistus)
  • 16 March: Open session — Music
  • 23 March: Ben Pestell, Homecomings

Summer 2010

  • 4 May: Kopal Gautam, Bhagavad Gita
  • 18 May: Dr Deirdre Serjeantson, Trees
  • 1 June: Saul Andreetti, Transformation
  • 15 June: Rowena Clarke: The Garden