Mapping Mythology

Jared Simard, Classics
Project Website: Mapping Mythology
NML Award: The Dewey Digital Teaching Award (December 2012)

This project is a comprehensive digital archive of artwork with a mythological theme. A key tool of the archive is the mapping feature that adds a geographical layer of information to the artwork. A visitor to the site will be able to view all the architecture and sculpture in a given city that is based upon or depicts some mythological event. Phase one focuses on New York City but the project will expand to incorporate other major metropolitan areas in and outside of the United States.

pegasusThe idea for this project stemmed from my work in the doctoral certificate program in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. A long-time teacher of Classical Mythology, I have always used pictures of paintings that depict one of the myths studied in class. Students appreciate the extra exposure to the myths in a different context and mention how it helps them in reviewing the myths and iconographical attributes. As a result, I had the idea to create a website that would have several examples of a given myth or god, with the added bonus of showing the students that some of these artworks are here in New York City. As the project develops into the later phases and expands into a more comprehensive archive of mythological artwork, the value of knowing a given work of art’s location and time of creation will enable me to place it in the larger context of the history of Classical reception.