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Jon Mason

Research Student

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a PhD researcher and a professional storyteller, interested in particular in the folklore, mythology and social history of the British Isles; the intersection of stories, landscape and identity; the role of narrative in shaping culture and sense of self; and in using storytelling to understand past and present. My PhD uses storytelling practice and existing "eco-storytelling" models to look at the potential to improve community engagement and environmental awareness through increased awareness of local history, folklore, and one's own personal narratives. I am particularly keen to explore how such models can engage with urban/suburban life and space.

Other interests include the place of myth in subcultural/group identity (especially regarding popular music); the historical insights offered by medieval narratives such as the Mabinogion and Beowulf ; use of mythology and folklore in fiction; and culture and society in British prehistory.

Scholarly biography

As a storyteller, I have devised performances and workshops for varied audiences since 2015. These include:

  • storytelling/eductational workshops for children in primary and secondary schools, and home-school networks, on Sussex folklore and history, Iron Age myths & archaeology, Norse myths, Greek myths, narrative structure and more
  • Time Travel Treasure Hunt, commissioned by Brighton Open Market Oct 2016, and repeated in collaboration with University of Sussex Dept of History in 2018 and 2019 (latterly as part of Brighton Festival Our Place programme)
  • Guided walks at local sites (eg Ditchling Beacon, Cissbury Ring) sharing local stories and history
  • Regular storytelling performances at festivals (eg Elderflower Fields, Brighton Fringe), clubs and self-organised gigs, featuring topics as diverse as international creation myths, medieval Celtic and Norse literature, British folklore, and the thematic or historical connections of all of these with place, events and modern life

In 2017 completed a course on Telling for Heritage at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, exploring and developing skills for interpreting historical sites & artefacts through storytelling.

Further info and occasional blog posts on the above topics can be found at https://jonthestoryteller.com/

Education/Academic qualification

Master, University of Sussex

5 Sep 201130 Sep 2013

Award Date: 29 Jan 2014

Bachelor, Bangor University

21 Sep 199812 Jul 2001

Award Date: 12 Jul 2001

External positions

Student Welfare Advisor, Brighton and Sussex Medical School

14 Jun 2009 → …

Keywords

  • GR Folklore
  • Myths
  • British folk tales
  • Musical subcultures
  • Narrative
  • Celtic mythology
  • Norse mythology
  • D901 Europe (General)
  • Britain
  • social history
  • Cultural Studies
  • CC Archaeology
  • Britain
  • Prehistory
  • Medieval
  • PR English literature
  • Children's literature
  • Folk tales
  • Celtic literature
  • Old English literature
  • Old Norse literature
  • GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
  • landscape
  • Heritage
  • Belonging
  • Environmental Eduction
  • Ecology

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