Thinking through Creation Myths

Nourish your own creative practice through an exploration of Western and non-Western creation myths.

accredited options available

This short course is based on the first module of our Poetics of Imagination Master’s qualification. This course is non-accredited, but a 30-credit online module is also available. Please read ‘How it works’ below carefully before booking or enquiring.


Starts 20 September 2021


Tracey Warr, Bram Thomas Arnold, Martin Shaw


Fully online


Unaccredited: £1,500 (£150 deposit, with the outstanding balance payable at the booking deadline specifed below).


13 September 2021

About this course

This course will take you on an in-depth exploration into Western and non-Western creation myths, examining their role in the development of meaning and sense of place across cultures, through a series of study films and two seminars with Dr Martin Shaw. The course focuses on Inuit, Siberian and other stories including The Red Bead Woman and The Listener. Storytellers have suggested that words were once like magic. We began in an animistic universe where thought took place in speech rather than on paper. Working with tutors, Dr Tracey Warr and Dr Bram Arnold you will focus on stories of creation, place, and nomadism to develop a richer understanding of the power of myth, cultural difference, and how both can nourish your own creative practice.  

 Over the five weeks we will consider the relationship between these stories and themes such as nature, animals, relationships, death, and material culture (such as Easter Island moai), with workshops enabling you to respond creatively to ancient stories. We’ll focus on cave art and other pertinent, early visual and material examples and their resonances in the work of recent artists, filmmakers, poets and speculative fiction writers.

Who is it for?

This course is for anyone interested in mythology, storytelling, literary and cultural criticism, poetry, spoken word, and looking for inspiration for their own writing or art projects.

How it works: non-accredited short course

Simply book in the usual way: head to the ‘book now‘ section, and you can choose to pay the full fee or an £150 deposit at checkout.

There are no specific entry requirements for the unaccredited course, though it is important to note that this course is taught at postgraduate level.

You will be provided with a PDF Course Reader. Additionally, please take a look at the following before the course begins:

  • Hyde, L. (2017) Trickster Makes this World: How disruptive imagination creates culture. Edinburgh: Canongate Books.
  • Hoban, R. (2012) Riddley Walker. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Kane, S. (1994) Wisdom of the Mythtellers. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview.
  • Le Guin, U.K. (2002) The Dispossessed. London: Gollancz.
  • Lewis-Williams, D. & Pearce, D. (2005) Inside the Neolithic Mind. London: Thames & Hudson.
  • Shaw, M. (2016). Scatterlings: Getting claimed in the age of amnesia. Ashburton: Cista Mystica Press.
  • Shaw, M. (2020) All Those Barbarians. Devon: Cista Mystica Press.

How it works: accredited course (30 credit online module)

You can complete this short course as a 30-credit module (Level 7). The accredited course includes an additional week in which you will complete the course assignment for submission and lecturer feedback.

If you wish to take the course accredited you will need relevant qualifications and/or be able to show equivalent experience in the field. The cost of the accredited qualification is £1,900.

To find out more about this accredited option, please visit the  Poetics of Imagination course page and refer to ‘Learning Pathways’. On application, choose ‘Module 1’.


Dr Tracey Warr, Head of Dartington Arts School

Tracey is Head of Dartington Arts School and Head of Research. She is a fiction and non-fiction writer and also works with text in the vicinity of art.

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martin shaw

Martin Shaw

Martin is currently Reader in Poetics of Imagination at Dartington Art School and Programme Lead for the MA of the same name.

His work circles mythology and landscape, oral storytelling and poetics.

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Bram Thomas Arnold

Bram Thomas Arnold

Dr Bram Thomas Arnold is an artist who started with walking and kept going into performance, drawing, installation, writing and academia. He is Associate Lecturer for our Poetics of Imagination programme.

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Book now

*If you choose to pay a deposit, you will be contacted to pay the outstanding balance once the Booking Deadline (see above) has elapsed.

We are proud to be COVID-secure. Find out what we're doing to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience here >

Select a time below to begin your online booking. You will receive an e-ticket for this event. You are welcome to email us at with any queries you have.

Offer: Special course rate for Dartington Members

Dartington Members will receive a 10% discount (applies up to the value of £1,000), applied when they log in during the checkout process. Please note that for events over £1,000, your discount will apply only if you pay in full, or when you settle the remainder of your course fee (if you choose to place a deposit initially). For more information about Membership, click here (opens in new tab).

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