Hot tip for researchers in classical reception! In Warsaw this month, the OurMythicalChildhood team launched its wonderful survey of Children’s and Young Adults’ Culture Inspired by Classical Antiquity Read on to find out more . . . .
I’m writing this from Chopin airport, waiting for my plane to take me away from the magic that is OurMythicalChildhood’s Warsaw team. It was a wonderful visit: exciting and challenging. I’ll be posting more about it in the next weeks, as I’m hoping to share some of what the students in the project have been up to. At The Present Meets the Past they gave excellent presentations about their discoveries while working on the survey, sharing their findings from literature, film, games, and toys: they’re sending me information for a posting later in June.
In the meantime, some information about the survey. It represents the work of the past year, in which our teams have been gathering entries from around the world. Currently there are 450 entries, and we’re committed to producing over 1000 more during the project. See the OurMythicalChildhood website for more information about the project as a whole.
The survey is truly a team effort. Each entry is written by a researcher, identifying and uncovering the classical elements in books, films, games, toys, and ephemera from children’s culture around the world. It is peer-reviewed twice by senior members of the team, checking for accuracy and insights. Each entry contains a summary and analysis of the item, providing scholarly insights from different angles (classics, reception, children’s literature, film…). Each entry is also tagged with markers from different fields of knowledge–classics, children’s literature, genre, more . ., throwing up interesting combinations and providing surprising results.
This survey will be a useful tool for researchers and teachers of classical antiquity and children’s literature alike. It reveals the ongoing power of classics in popular culture day, the care and enjoyment with which children’s writers draw on ancient motifs, and the sheer fun that is to be had in finding one’s way through a labyrinth of curious texts.
Katarzyna Marciniak launched the survey during the Present Meets the Past workshop, and it is open for use, as a living work of scholarly inquiry. So we invite you, please, to use it and to join with us in our mythical explorations. The motto at the base of the site reads: Quaerite et invenietis (seek, and ye shall find), and we hope you will find what you’re looking for, and more, and that you will also share with us your discoveries and insights along the way.