Our Mythical Childhood

Our Mythical Childhood… The Reception of Classical Antiquity in Children’s and Young Adults’ Culture in Response to Regional and Global Challenges … is funded by the European Research Council’s Horizon 20/20 program of academic grants. The project leader is Professor Katarzyna Marciniak, from the Faculty of Artes Liberales, at the University of Warsaw. Its main project is the production of an online survey of children’s culture around the world that in inspired by classical antiquity.

Our Mythical Childhood funds a range of projects, carried out by researchers around the world. Susan Deacy is exploring the ways in which learning about classical antiquity connects for people with autism. Sonya Nevin and Steve Simons are animating a series of Ancient Greek vases, in collaboration with the National Museum of Warsaw. Lisa Maurice is making an online survey of educational resources in classical culture around the world. Daniel Nkemleke is gathering Cameroonian myths that overlap or connect with classical myth. I’m writing a book, in collaboration with Miriam Riverlea, about how we think about classical reception in children’s literature. And Katarzyna Marciniak and her team at the University of Warsaw are overseeing the survey, and organising several conferences and publications.

This is a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative project, with an unusual vision that brings together often overlooked material (children’s literature) with canonical culture that is one of the foundations of Western civilisation. We ask ourselves, what does it mean that these materials are so often taught to children? How are they taught to children? How do children think about classics? What comments do the different treatments of classical material make, about our own society and societies past?

This graphic gives an overview of the scope of the project.

Screenshot 2018-10-13 18.40.03