Our Mythical Childhood...

The Reception of Classical Antiquity in Children’s and Young Adults’ Culture in Response to Regional and Global Challenges

Survey Authors

Cora Beth Fraser

Cora Beth Fraser was born in North-East England, and grew up with her nose in a book, fascinated by fantasy, myths and legends of all kinds – particularly the illustrated kinds. That fascination never really went away. Now she teaches Greek and Roman Myth (among other things) with The Open University, and illustrates ancient literature in her free time. Cora Beth has always been interested in the intersection of Classics and Education. She graduated from Newcastle University in 2005 with a PhD in Classics (focusing on the narrative strategies of Tacitus) and at the same time graduated from The Open University with an MEd specializing in Primary Education. She has since gone on to gain a third Masters degree, this time in Online and Distance Education, with a particular interest in accessibility online. She has taught in primary schools, secondary schools, traditional universities and community settings, and has spent the past three years building an online community around her student-facing website, Classical Studies Support.

In 2020 she was made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and was awarded the Open University Recognition of Excellence in Teaching Award for her development of online resources to engage marginalised students. She was also honoured to be invited to join the Lego Classicists Family. It wasn’t until her son was diagnosed with autism in 2016 that Cora Beth began to recognise the same traits in herself. She was diagnosed as autistic in 2020. These days she takes an active interest in autism and learning, both in school settings and as a member of the CUCD EDI Committee – but can still usually be found with her nose in a book.

Cora’s website is here https://classicalstudies.support

And here is a post Cora wrote for the CUCD Education blog: “Diverging Online: a guide to online teaching of neurodiverse student groups”

Sarah Hardstaff

Sarah Hardstaff recently completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge, specialising in children's literature and the works of Mildred Taylor and Cynthia Voigt. Sarah is a contributor to the Our Mythic Childhood survey and is interested in the use of myth in inclusive children's literature. Her background includes work in autism support and advocacy.

Aimee Hinds

Aimee Hinds is a PhD student at the University of Roehampton, researching intersectional possibilities in receptions of Greek mythology in popular culture. Her approach to intersectionality encompasses queer theory, Marxist theory, post-coloniality and disability studies to explicitly open the boundaries of feminist theory. She has written about bad feminism in classical reception, issues with fashion’s engagement with the ancient Mediterranean, and polychromy in Neoclassical and modern art.

Dani Shalet

An Associate Lecturer, as well as a Research Fellow in Education at Christ Church University, Dr Dani Shalet's educational background, is diverse. Wanting to do a degree in Planetology, she changed to history when discouraged by a High School teacher to not pursue this career path, because 'it wasn't a girl's subject'. Dr Shalet went on to do a degree in History with a focus on Ancient History, and a PhD in Science and Religion (where she combined all her interests). After receiving her PhD in 2015, Dr. Shalet went on to do a PGCE in Physics with Maths and now holds a QTS. She has taught Science, Physics, History, Maths, Philosophy, and RE in secondary schools. Moreover, she was an Assistant Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Kent.

Her research interests lie in Science/Religion and Education where she explores as well as develops, multidisciplinary pedagogies, with her PI and team. Her interests lie in the History of Science; Myth and Religion; Philosophy of Mathematics; Religion and Popular Culture; Game Studies; Fandom and Gender; Platonic and Neo-Pythagorean philosophy. She also worked as a field Archaeologist for the Canterbury Archaeological Trust in 2015 and was a gaming podcaster from 2011-2016.

She is currently working as a Research Fellow on a TWCF funded initiative that investigates ways to improve primary and secondary education in the UK. The LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) team is based in the Faculty of Education--at Canterbury Christ Church University.


Furthermore, she also contributes to the Our Mythical Survey project where she can pursue her other love, writing about mythology and videogames.