I think of my work as a mythology under constant revision that reevaluates our human perceptions of the natural world. The root of mythology comes to us from ancient Greek mythos. The original meaning of mythos was simply an account from memory–your mythos could be what your day was like, what happened and how you felt. We are all in the continuous process of building narratives of our individual lives, our cultures, and the world around us.

Human stories and values–mythos–underlie metaphors and analogies, meaning that no discussion of scientific ideas can be free of cultural bias. Discussion of symbiotic relationships between organisms has long been fraught with analogies, such as the market language of capitalism. Mass extinctions were first theorized as natural “revolutions”. Cancer has been characterized as individuals rebelling in the civilization of cells that is an organism. Our current stories have been useful in making sense of much of the world and as excellent thinking tools for discovery, yet they have their limits. Can we find comfort in a mythology of uncertainty?


Liz Miller

Committee Member

Josh Winkler

Committee Member

Sudarshana Bordoloi

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Arts and Humanities



Rights Statement

In Copyright