James P. Farrelly

James P. Farrelly

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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If your organization would like to book a speaker, first contact the speaker to confirm program dates and times. After you have confirmed scheduling details, submit a speaker request form to Ohio Humanities at least six weeks before the presentation takes place. Upon approval, we’ll send you a program agreement packet and ask you to pay the appropriate application fee to Ohio Humanities. Groups are limited to three Speakers Bureau programs per year.

Speakers Fee Structure

Non-profit organizations with an annual budget under $150,000 pay a fee of $50.00

Non-profit organizations with an annual budget over $150,000 pay a fee of $250.00

Schools (including colleges or universities) and corporate or private entities pay a fee of $400.00

Ohio Humanities is not accepting new Speakers Bureau bookings at this time. Please check back in October 2020 or contact Sam Chase at 614.461.7802 or schase@ohiohumanities.org if you have any questions. Although no Ohio Humanities funding will be provided, organizations are encouraged to contact individual speakers to inquire about bookings on their own.