Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Dessy-Roffman Myth Collaborative has scheduled four workshops for the spring semester. All are free and open to the community.

The Dessy-Roffman Myth Collaborative is designed to be a dynamic, cross-disciplinary resource for students and faculty that will enhance the on-campus site where the study of myth is nurtured and supported, providing an exchange of ideas among faculty of diverse departments, offering seminars and workshops on myth, and designing co-curricular courses.

In addition to campus collaboration, it is hoped that programming and initiatives will be developed across the State System of Higher Education and throughout western Pennsylvania.

The Dessy-Roffman Myth Collaborative is named in honor of Blane Dessy, a 1973 graduate, and IUP Professor Emerita of English Rosaly DeMaios Roffman.

For this spring, workshops will feature IUP faculty and students. Scheduled workshops include:

“Hagiography and Mythic Sainthood: The Saint and Mythic Identity”

February 12, noon to 1:30 p.m., Humanities and Social Sciences building, room 319

Panelists: Lindsey Moser (Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice) and Michael Williamson (Department of English)

This workshop explores the intersection between myth and religion and focuses specifically on the notion of sainthood. It seeks to answer these and other questions: What makes a saint? How does hagiography affect the historical image of a real saint? What modern or popular examples of hagiography circulate today? What elements of the mythic appear in religious scholarship and discourse today? Are there popular saints? How is the way we represent figures in the past relevant for our current understanding of these figures?

“Postmodern Myths: Exploring the Myths of the Past in a Postmodern Future”

March 18, noon to 1:30 p.m., Humanities and Social Sciences building, room 319

Panelists: Veronica Watson, Jeff Ambrose, and Thomas Slater (Department of English)

This workshop looks at the concept of myth in a postmodern context and how the fluid nature of truth in postmodern thought affects how we conceive the mythic, and it investigates the past to trace the mythic in modern and popular culture through politics, video games, fiction, art, adaptation studies, and other areas where the concept of myth informs the present and crafts the future.

“Epic: The Myth in Epic Narratives”

April 4, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., Humanities and Social Sciences building, room 307

English Graduate Organization Conference special panel: Melanie Holm, Joseph Sanpietro (Department of English)

The epic genre is a typical mode for elements of the mythic. Epic narratives capture a broad snapshot of human experience. Panelists will discuss how the epic mode allows us to explore what is myth; how do questing, pilgrimage, journey, and transformation narratives shape the discourse around what a myth is; and how do we talk about it. They also will discuss what points of connection epics have in current scholarship, and how personal narratives (diaries, journals, memoirs) use elements of the epic narrative.

“Real Myths: Anthropology of the Mythic, Marvelous, and Monstrous”

April 29, Time TBA, Humanities and Social Sciences building, room 319

Panelists are Theresa Smith (Department of Religious Studies) and Benjamin Ford and Abigail Adams (Department of Anthropology)

This workshop explores examples of real myths, marvels, and monsters. Examples can range from examples in literature (such as Frankenstein's monster, magical realism, miracle narratives and plays, retellings of myth, animism, and more) to documented examples of popular myths (like creature myths such as Sasquatch, dragons, and fairy tales), historical or archeological research focusing on the mythic, and theories surrounding how the mythic, marvelous, and monstrous are represented in literature, society, and history.