Star Wars and Mythology | Newberry

Star Wars and Mythology

Led by Harrison Sherrod. Five sessions, 6 - 7:45 pm.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Thursdays, November 2 - December 7 (class will not meet on November 23)

6 - 7:45 pm

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (by September 1): $170

Regular Price (after September 1): $187

Register Online

Seminar Description

Star Wars remains one of the most universally beloved stories of all time, transcending boundaries of age, place, and even political persuasion. One reason these films are so enduring is because they carefully adhere to patterns of mythological storytelling traditions that have existed across cultures for thousands of years. This class will interpret the Star Wars canon through the lens of Joseph Campbell’s comparative mythology, exploring the influence of everything from Buddhist philosophy and Arthurian legend, to Wagner’s Ring Cycle and the Bible. The seminar will culminate in a group screening of the upcoming Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, which we will analyze with our newfound mythological insight. Five sessions.

Harrison Sherrod has been teaching seminars at the Newberry for several years, including courses on Chicago surrealism, metaphysical detectives, the philosophy of anxiety, con artists, and dinner parties gone wrong.

Materials List


  • Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New World Library, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-1577315933


  • Cass R. Sunstein, The World According to Star Wars. Dey Street Books, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-0062484222

First Reading:

  • For the first class, please read up to “Part II: The Cosmogonic Cycle” of Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.