Linda, I’ll admit curiosity about your thesis on the principles of storytelling. If you don’t mind my asking, where are you matriculating? You mention your Ph.D. program is tied to education and teaching – is that the field your degree will be in?
At JCF we do everything we can to advance the study of myth – but mythology is in many ways the strange bastard child of academia. Only rarely is it its own field (Pacifica Graduate Institute comes to mind, and I believe Sonoma State in California offered a degree in myth at one point); usually mythology is a subset of some other field: cultural anthropology, religious studies, , folklore – heck, even Joseph Campbell himself taught in the literature department at Sarah Lawrence.
As for storytelling, I believe that is essential to teaching. For a number of years I taught English and Literature (and, occasionally, especially when on the wrong side of whomever happened to be principal that year, a section or two of algebra – not exactly my dessert class) in my junior high classroom. Storytelling was key to whatever success I enjoyed (even when teaching math!). In the years since, I fill in a few days a month for old friends and colleagues – and even when subbing, storytelling proves crucial, even when discussing the most mundane matters (heck, the kids respond so much better to an anecdote about little Donnie Gardner’s use of bathroom privileges in my classroom lo so many decades ago, and are far more understanding, than just having the rules laid down for them).
I am curious if you relate the principles of storytelling you uncover to the field of education – and would love to know who else, besides Campbell, you cite (whether Paul Ricoeur’s Time and Narrative, to Shel Silverstein and everything in between.