Using legends as a tool and for self-exploration: The Hero’s Journey
B.A. Creative Industries Management and B.A. Kreatives Schreiben und Texten students gain insight into the framework with coach Ingrid Scherübel
The stories of our lives, careers and loves share some common features. They start with a call to action, somebody who is encouraging us, and our tentative step into a new adventure. Joseph Campbell has explored these patterns and identified “the Hero‘s Journey”, which we also find in the Star Wars films, Shakespeare’s novels and TV-series such as Game of Thrones.
Students of the study programmes B.A. Creative Industries Management and B.A. Kreatives Schreiben und Texten (Creative Writing) delved into this with a coach: Ingrid Scherübl (Schreibaschram) has developed the Hero’s journey as a researcher on the team with Nina Trobisch, Karin Denisow and Dieter Kraft with Universität der Künste (UdK)’s “Das Heldenprinzip: Kompass für Innovation und Wandel”. “The Hero’s Journey can be applied as a tool for organizational change and for personal development as well”, Scherübl says. “Once you know these patterns, you can work with them in many situations of your life.” For example, the model also helps us to explain how stories are told. This matched the purpose of the module C625 Cultural Theory and Popular Culture (Prof. Dr. Biehl) which discusses cultural studies with reference to creative industries’ products, this semester the group is looking into the popular TV-series Game of Thrones and its many unfortunate heroes. After speaking about and applying the framework, students said the insights helped them for storywriting as a framework. Others find they now have a new resource to identify steps in their career and life, maybe being cautious of breaking points and showing new awareness of dire phases that require effort.
On the picture, workshop participants embody each stage in the hero‘s journey: The Ordinary World (Ingrid Scherübel, centre; then left to right): The Call to Adventure; Crossing the First Threshold; Departure; Trials, Friends, and Foes; Magical Mentor; Dragon’s Lair; Moment of Despair; Ultimate Treasure; Homeward Bound; Rebirth and The Champion’s Return.