Introduction to Joseph Campbell

This fall, I will be teaching a new elective class based on Joseph Campbell’s theories.  As an introduction to Campbell’s ideas (and also because I am going to be working with ninth graders for our first double-block and need something for my students to do), I created this web scavenger hunt: Joseph Campbell: A Scavenger Hunt for ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’ Students.

Any feedback from folks who think I’m missing something or think something could be more clear (or any other feedback) is appreciated.

The blogs I’m referencing haven’t been created yet, but my thinking was to put them on something closed, and my first thought was Ning.  Does anyone have another solution?  Ning is blocked at my school, but I think I can get it unblocked.

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8 thoughts on “Introduction to Joseph Campbell

  1. WOW! You just reaffirmed to me that I need to get my butt into planning mode.

    Your webquest looks awesome. I loved learning about web quests when I took Bernie Dodge's course at SDSU. He is the web quest king. He has tons of resources (though you prob. know this already).

  2. Hey Dana! I LOVE IT!

    I am not sure if you are able to use Teen Second Life, but if so, I have a full cave of archetypal theory and JC materials available on the adult grid. They can be passed to you on the teen grid, and are free.

  3. Dana — Took me far, far, far too long to pull up a comfy reading chair in front of the huffenglish.com fire. Been aware of your work (and focus on literature) for quite some time, but it wasn't until this summer that I began to re-orient my blog reading away from 'big picture' elements in the edu-blogosphere to a few sharp wits/brains in the English Dept. corridor of the same digital realm.

    Fortunately, Susan Morgan (@scmorgan) contacted me via Twitter this week to suggest I spend time looking at your Joseph Campbell pieces in particular. Having just come back to the classroom to teach 10th grade English (reg and hon sections) a year ago — after a 3+ year break to help design schools and look at future trends in education — I am feeling remarkably 'new' again in terms of the day-to-day curriculum side of things (even with more than 10 years of Eng classroom teaching under my belt).

    Not being personally tied to historical 'boundaries' for literature, I am playing around with re-wiring the classic Brit Lit 10th grade curriculum I adopted a year ago. While I love the themes and characters that come with my Brit Lit collection, I'm seeking something more universal than the traditional garb (defined by the UK's history and culture as writ many a time before by generations of Eng teachers)…and pushing down deep into the land of Campbell as we explore 'heroes' on a larger scale. Clearly I have a hero gold-mine with regards to Winston, Othello, Ralph/Jack, Frankenstein's monster, and so many more that my students will embrace, but I'm hoping to help the students see all of these within a larger hero's/anti-hero's journey as concept and as a model for their own lives.

    If possible, I'd love to spend some time picking your brain as you go forward with the new elective (and 9th grade project). Let me know if you wouldn't mind an intellectual intern hanging around your virtual office a bit in the year ahead.

    In the meantime, thanks for sharing the JC web quest. A great bit for me to sink my teeth into while on vacation with my toddler kiddo between visits to the beach/pool.

  4. I absolutely love the webquest idea. It looks great! I focused on Joseph Campbell Hero’s Journey in my 10th grade classroom a few years back and decided to incorporate an essay. The students were to compare a movie to the Hero’s Journey. We, first, read excerpts and watched a movie (I can't remember the movie right now—I think First Knight), and organized the stages the main characters went through. Then, I let them decide on a movie to watch on their own, and complete the essay. They did a wonderful job on the assignment, and many of them really got into writing the essay. I have never seen them devour an essay writing assignment like that before. I gave the assignment to another teacher last year, and she said her students also really got into the assignment as well, but I think she changed it a little for the Brit. Lit. Curriculum. What you have looks great! I think you could do a discussion circle after this to extend thinking! I was amazed at the connections that my students made. I stopped doing this assignment when the district moved American Literature down to 10th grade at our school. Good Luck!

  5. Campbell's work is quite fascinating. I was big into it in high school. He edited the Viking Portable of Jung and of course got a lot of archetypal things from there. Might look through it for some snippets.

    I think one of the best of his works was Myths to Live By. I would think reading something from that would be greatly enjoyed by students.

    I've got quite a few of his audio lectures, the Foundation gave them out slowly over many months. I'll upload them for you if you'd like:

    Inward Journey: East and West

    Mythology and the Individual

    The Myths and Masks of God

    Western Quest

  6. Did you ever decide where you'd have your students post their blog entries? Every year, I say I'm going to start this, and every year, fear keeps me from jumping right in. I have a colleague who is going to try edublog (?) this year, so maybe I'll let her be the guinea pig.

  7. An upload of western quest would be nice. I've already listened to the other tapes, but I wasn't around when they made western quest accessible. So, please do so.

    • Step, I'm not affiliated with the Joseph Campbell Foundation, and I do not have access to any tapes. You might try contacting the Foundation.

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