Got Myth: A discussion on how myths still have an impact on today’s world

Issy Barrientos, Photo Editor

The Norman Levan Center at Bakersfield College hosted the discussion “Got Myth: Ancient Stories That Still Inform 21st Century People, Politics, and Pop Culture,” on Oct. 10.

Rae Ann Kumelos, an associate professor of English at BC, started the conversation by talking about archetypes. Kumelos described archetypes as molds. 

Issy Barrientos
Professor Rae Ann Kumelos, an associate professor of English at Bakersfield College, talks about the king archetype during Got Myth: Ancient Stories That Still Inform.”

The first archetype she mentioned was the king. She asked the audience what they thought about when she said the word king. The audience yelled their answers which ranged from power, scepter, gold and Arthur.

In her slideshow, she included pictures of kings from the Burger King to King Arthur and Prince William. She explained to the audience that when Arthur became king, he built the Round Table to show that everyone was equal.

She continued to show pictures of different Greek gods such as Demeter, the mother goddess and Aphrodite, the goddess of love and the darker aspects that fall under that domain such as jealousy. 

She ended her presentation by personifying the Statue of Liberty as an American goddess.

Throughout Kumelos’ presentation, the attendees laughed at her clever slides and jokes.

Following Kumelos were Susan Pinza, an Academic Development professor, and David Koeth, an art professor.

The topic that Pinza and Koeth discussed was the hero. The hero they mentioned at the beginning of the presentation was Odysseus. 

With the talk of Odysseus, the conversation turned to Joseph Campbell’s work specifically the hero’s journey. The first phase of a hero’s journey is the call to adventure. 

Luke Skywalker from “Star Wars” was a character mentioned that goes through a hero’s journey

Their presentation focused heavily on their slideshow. Other heroes included Pocahontas, Mulan, Hermione from “Harry Potter” and Belle from “The Beauty and the Beast.” One surprising addition to the list was Dolores Huerta. 

Their presentation ended with Pinza reading quotes from Joseph Campbell.

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg was the third presenter. 

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg talks about the aesthetics being weaved into necessities.

She started by telling the audience that her husband and son are artists. Not only are they artist creators but they are also storytellers.

Gomez-Heitzeberg asked the audience what necessities are needed to live, which caused someone to shout “iPhone.” Laughter followed the remark.

She by listing a few necessities such as water, shelter, and clothing. From clothes, she asked when did clothes go from an essential to decorative.

Professor Duane Anderson of the architecture department from Bakersfield College was the last to present.

He gave a short speech about Greek Mythology, focusing on Athena. He explained that the Greeks gave their gods flaws. Athena lost a weaving contest so she turned her competitor into a spider.

Anderson then talked about architecture, which he called, his “favorite subject.” 

He echoed what Gomez-Heitzeberg talked about; having a necessary object, like a pillar, to then modify to look more ornamental. 

The night ended with a Q&A with multiple members of the audience asking the panel questions.