James P. Farrelly is a Professor of English and Director of Film Studies at the University of Dayton where he has taught for more than thirty years. His specialty is Irish literature and drama, but he also teaches courses in science fiction and modern fantasy, popular literature, and film and literature. He has a keen scholarly interest in the primal forms of storytelling—myth, folktales, and fairy tales—and in the roles they play in opening windows on the world for readers of all ages.
Patterns of Culture
Storytelling exists in all cultures and traces its roots to early efforts of humans to define and explain the world around them: their origins, their communities, and their survival. Many myths, folktales, and fairy tales evolved out of this oral tradition and eventually were written down and preserved for posterity. This presentation will examine cross-cultural links in these stories and will propose that the human imagination may well spring from a common source.
Fantasy and Science Fiction
Writers of fantasy literature and science fiction answer the call “to boldly go” where no one has gone before. When we sign on and enter the otherworlds they have created, we vicariously experience an odyssey of the mind that can teach us important lessons about our own existence and what it means to be human. In this presentation we will explore some of these constructed worlds and test the proposition that “Literature is life.”
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