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Charles Vess
Unregistered User
(6/19/02 1:14:12 pm)
A Conference on Myth in the making...
Hey all,

I thought that all of you might be interested in this conference that is being planned for next year. At least it makes me very excited!


Mythic Journeys
An Exploration of Personal Mythology in
Contemporary Life, Art, and Psychology

For the first time ever, the Mythic Journeys Conference, to be held in
Atlanta in 2003, will bring together some of the very best minds in the
fields of mythic scholarship, psychology, and art for a weekend of
conversation, round table discussions, workshops, performances, and
interviews all on the subject of myth in contemporary life, culture,
psychology, and art. All of our guests and speakers are in some way involved
in keeping myth alive today, rather than simply remembering it as a quaint
reminder of a forgotten age.

The conference will have two segments over a four-day weekend. We will begin
with a small gathering, allowing a strictly limited number of attendees to
meet and interact with our guests in an intimate and engaging environment.
The remaining days will be open to more attendees,

Depth Psychologists use myth to help patients probe the depths of their own
minds and the patterns of their lives. Authors bring it out of the forest of
long ago and into today’s gritty urban streets. Filmmakers, as surely as
advertising executives, have created mass machines for developing new
mythology. Artists and musicians make us recognize the timeless archetypes
in new guises. Now, these people, the very best in their fields, will have a
chance to come together and explore. Artists will talk to psychologists to
explore the deep places in the mind where symbols are born. Filmmakers,
academics and media experts will discuss creating new myth with today’s
powerful communication tools. Dancers will work with authors to show how
words and movement breathe life and meaning into mythic forms, and keep
archetypal patterns relevant even in the jaded information age. We will
craft a warm, community atmosphere and a comfortable, welcoming forum where
brilliant and talented people with widely contrasting views, disciplines,
backgrounds, and opinions, can come together for common exploration.

While some guests will give talks, others may be interviewed
conversationally, as Bill Moyers interviewed Joseph Campbell in The Power of
Myth, or they may simply be invited to participate in round table
discussions with others from diverse but related disciplines. We’ll also
have breakout sessions allowing attendees to interact more intimately with
our guests.

For example, imagine Robert Hillman and Robert Johnson discussing myth and
archetypal psychology with Robert Bly, Michael Mead, and Clarissa Pinkola
Estés. Or listening to Terri Windling, editor of Tor Books’ adult fairy tale
fiction series, and authors Charles de Lint and Jane Yolen discussing
retellings of myths and folktales in contemporary settings with Jack Zipes
and Marina Warner. The possibilities for speculative discourse are

In addition to the programming, we hope to add evening concerts, a cocktail
reception, a suite open only to our guests—giving them an opportunity to
meet and interact in a comfortable setting—art exhibition, theatre,
bookstore, and more. In short, we hope to combine the content and resonance
of the very best academic conferences with the fun, popular accessibility,
and community-building atmosphere of a literary science fiction convention.

We envision the conference lasting four days over a weekend, beginning on a
Thursday with an introduction, a dinner and reception, and a concert,
followed by three days of conference events. The first two days, the
Thursday and Friday, will be strictly limited to around 250 paying
attendees. This more intimate session will be considerably more expensive
than the balance of the conference. The following Saturday and Sunday, the
main event days, will be open to a larger number of people, perhaps as many
as five thousand. After all, myth belongs to all people—and this is an
unprecedented opportunity to give the community a chance to witness so many
great minds in one place at one time. We want to be inclusive, reach a wide
and diverse audience, and perhaps even introduce some powerful new ideas to
the public. In addition, we hope to broadcast some or all of the conference
on public television and/or radio, and make DVDs, videotapes, CDs, and/or
audiocassette tapes available to attendees.

Perhaps most importantly, we want to foster a sense of community. In J.R.R.
Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Rivendell, the great house of the elf lord
Elrond, boasts a magnificent room called the Hall of Fires. This is a place
where the wise masters of lore come together with singers, poets, and
storytellers to share knowledge, art, good conversation, and fellowship. We
intend to create just such an atmosphere at Mythic Journeys.

Our hope is to stage Mythic Journeys in the summer of 2003, although our
schedule will depend largely on a consensus of our invited guests. We intend
to hold Mythic Journeys conferences every odd year in Atlanta, with other
conferences held in other cities in even years.

For much more information you can email me or one of the two organizers below:

John Adcox
971 Clover Lane
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30044-3218
(770) 279-8085 • (404) 759-6069

Michael Karlin
500 Northland Ridge Court
Atlanta, Georgia 30342
(404) 234-9290

© Copyright 2002 by John Adcox and Michael Karlin

"Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.
-- Pablo Picasso

Registered User
(6/19/02 2:56:02 pm)
Re: A Conference on Myth in the making...
Golly Charles,

That sounds amazing!

Will you or other artists be speaking/presenting as well? (since, of course, that is my favorite angle). It sounds incredibly fabulous - makes me almost tear up thinking about it.

I always wanted to live in Rivendell...


Registered User
(6/19/02 9:44:01 pm)
coming together
I'm involved as well -- John lives just a little way away from me. Things are coming along remarkably well, and so far the reactions have been most positive. John and Michael are always happy to hear from folks who are interested -- from simple opinion-sharing all the way on up the ladder.

Laura S.

Charles Vess
Unregistered User
(6/20/02 6:02:54 am)
Send me an email...
If you would like to read the complete proposal send me an email ( and as long as you can open PDF formated attachments I'll send it your way.

The complete proposal includes a tentative list of all the guests that will be asked.


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