This is a website in which we go on an Antipodean Odyssey.
An Odyssey is a journey, named after the Greek hero, Odysseus, depicted in Homer’s Odyssey.
After the horrors of the Trojan War, Odysseus sails through the Mediterranean sea, home to Ithaca. As he and his crew travel, they encounter many mysterious beings, horrors and lures, and have many adventures.
The term Odyssey is now shorthand for an interesting journey, full of unusual twists and turns. As part of the Our Mythical Childhood project, we’re making what promises to be an enormous survey of the children’s culture around the world that is inspired by Classical Antiquity. With my research team, I’m exploring the Antipodean literary and cultural landscapes for myths, figures, ideas, images, and cultural connections with Classical Antiquity. It’s looking like it will be a fascinating journey indeed.
We are already finding that the term ‘Antipodean’ can be extremely large, taking in not only Australia and New Zealand, but the Pacific, parts of Asia, and South America as well. It can only get more interesting as we proceed.
In this website, we’ll provide information about the many exciting projects we find connections to, we’ll provide a platform for researchers, educators, students and creators who are inspired by classical material, to share their work, their findings, and their experiences.
There are many wonderful creative things happening in the classical culture of our modern world.
The word ‘antipodes’ means ‘standing directly opposite,’ and is often used to refer to Australia and New Zealand, which are ‘antipodal’ to European culture. I think that from our vantage point ‘down under,’ we can see things a little differently. We won’t be turning classics upside down, but as we go on our Antipodean Odyssey, we’ll be turning things around, looking from different angles, at classical antiquity and the people and places that like it and keep it alive.