Campbell, Joseph

Campbell, Joseph

(1904–87) mythologist, educator; born in New York City. A professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College (1934–72), he entranced students with his analysis of comparative mythology, writing The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) and the four-volume Masks of God (1959–68). Although his scholarship has been criticized, he attained the status of a virtual guru through a series of television interviews by Bill Moyers in 1985–86.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.

Campbell, Joseph


Joseph Campbell (1904–1987) was a scholar and writer who, shortly before his death, became something of a pop culture phenomenon. Campbell was at the forefront of the group of thinkers through whose work the notion of “myth” was reevaluated by Western society, so that mythology, in the sense of “sacred story,” is now viewed as something worthwhile, and even necessary for human beings. Campbell’s now-classic early work on hero myths, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, was consciously appropriated by creative writers, and even by movie producers such as George Lucas, producer of the popular Star Wars series.

Campbell worked within the larger tradition of Jungian psychology, a school of thought that examines mythology for the light it throws on psychological processes. Carl Jung understood myths as manifestations of the collective unconscious, the part of the mind that acts as a storehouse of myths and symbols to which all human beings have access and which is viewed as the ultimate source of every society’s mythology. Much of traditional Jungian analysis focuses on the interpretation of dreams. Jung found that the dreams of his patients frequently contained images with which they were completely unfamiliar but which seemed to reflect symbols that could be found somewhere in the mythological systems of world culture. The notion of the collective unconscious was used to explain this phenomenon.

Campbell did not develop a new view of dreams and their relationship to mythology. He is, rather, responsible for popularizing the Jungian view, which can be stated succinctly as “dreams are individual myths and myths are society’s dreams.” In Campbell’s own words:

Dream is a personal experience of that deep, dark ground that is the society’s dream. The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of society, you are in good accord with your group. If it isn’t, you’ve got an adventure in the dark forest ahead of you. (The Power of Myth, p. 40—see Sources).

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Campbell, Joseph. The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers.
Kevin Campbell, Joseph Yobo, Tim Howard, Mikel Arteta and of course Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry were all loan stars who didn't lose form or hunger following permanent deals.
NEW YORK--Vincent Blasio, Robin Campbell, Joseph Crisci, Mia Dinoris, Brigette Lainez, Michael Maher, Nicole Nieves, Joshua Pulice, Cal Rasbatt, Michael Sears, Adam Smith, Kayla Smith, Michael Stoner, Michelle Van Der Veer, Anne Marie Whelan
"Michael dared to be different, and he dared to be brilliant, creative and artistic," says Sharon Campbell, Joseph's mother.
Ushers were William Frances Campbell, Joseph Lane Campbell, Matthew Dunagin Campbell Ryan Adam Smith, Cory Richard Castle, and Robert Dale Morgan Jr.
Cardiff Blues North under-16 squad for season 2007-8: Harley Thompson, Josh Wills, Alex Webber, Ben Jones, Owen Williams, Adam Lewis, James Shepperd, Lloyd Juggesur, Sam Campbell, Joseph Griffin, Lewis Williams, Ethan Sherlock, Kieron Marmion, Tarian Emmanuel, Dewi Rowlands, Owen Davies, Dafydd Rhys, Lewis Smout, James Williams, Carl Williams, Steffan King, McCauley Cook, Gavin Hay, Cory Hill, Johnathan Barley, Jack Gibbon, Thomas Young, Daniel Waldon, Owen Shepperd, David Barry.
"The Artist as Documentarian" includes the name Jen Dalton, alongside Danica Phelps, Elizabeth Campbell, Joseph Grigely, Mary Kelly, and others; we might also think of "chart artist" Mark Lombardi, who uses a conceptualist idiom to discuss relationships of money, influence, and visibility in the larger corporate landscape.
Campbell, Joseph, 1986, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space.
From furniture makeovers for Scottish Television's magazine programme Summer Discovery to at home features on celebrities like Nina Campbell, Joseph Ettedgui and Jaspar Conran for magazines including Living etc, Perfect Home and BBC Good Homes Magazines, this fashionable pair are there.
Tommo Byrne, Derek Benson, Pat Campbell, Joseph Foran, Darren Carey, Patrick Murray and Pat Neville are just seven victims of 21 drug- related murders in recent months.
Though none of the existing written accounts of the early years of rap is considered definitive, the men most commonly credited for the earliest developments in rap were Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell, Joseph "Grandmaster Flash" Saddler, and Afrika Bambaataa.