Background on the Author

Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

(Photo by Karen St. Pierre)

When I'm exploring the many sites I'm using for this project, I'm always pleased when I come across the biographical backgrounds of those involved.  I feel hesitant about putting my own on the web, yet others may also enjoy knowing something of my own interests and training....
1992:  Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of California,
           Santa Barbara
Doctoral Dissertation: The Feminine in Zygote and Syzygy: Gender Studies in Violence, Drama, and the Sacred
1985:  M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California,
           Santa Barbara
Masters Thesis:  Myths of Gods Who Dance
1981:  B.A. in Creative Writing from Mount St. Mary's, Los Angeles, CA
Academic Areas of Specialization:
History of religion (with a focus on comparative mythology); religion and culture; art, literature and religion; women's studies.
Academic Areas of Competence:
Medieval Europe, ancient Greece, Egypt and the Near East, Hinduism, Buddhism, Native American traditions, world religions.
Teaching Positions:
[Note: I retired from teaching at Pacifica on 1 June 2003]
Core Faculty
Mythlological Studies Department
Pacifica Graduate Institute
Carpinteria, CA 93013

European Sacred Traditions (Medieval Europe)
Folklore and Fairy Tales
Ritual and Ceremony
Egyptian and Near Eastern Sacred Traditions

Teaching Assistant, University of California, Santa Barbara:
Religious Studies Department
Philosophy Department
Women's Studies Department
Ventura College Community Services, Ventura, CA
Administrative Work:
February through August 1995:
Interim Administrative Coordinator ("Acting Chair"), Mythological Studies Department, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA
Guest Lectures
University of California, Santa Barbara / Department of Religious Studies:
"Religious Approaches to Death:  Reincarnation"
"Changing Woman:  The Navajo Therapist Goddess"
"The Mountainway of the Navajo:  From Captive to Visionary"
"The Earth-Spirit:  Eco-Feminism"
La Casa de Maria Eucumenical Retreat Center:
"Creative Writing as a Healing Art"
"Navajo Myth & Spirituality:
Walking the Pollen Path of Wholeness"
Academic Papers Presented:
1997: Pacifica Graduate Institute, Annual Conference,
Archetypal Mythology: Maps of the Psyche, Santa Barbara, CA:
"Woman's Way:  Beyond the Hero"
1993: American Anthropological Association's Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, Annual Conference, Santa Barbara, CA:
"Reincarnation:  States of Consciousness"
1988: American Academy of Religion (AAR), Western Regional Meeting, San Jose, CA:
"Speculations on 'Original Sin' and the Divine Feminine"
  (This paper won first prize in the Graduate Student Competition)
 Published Books:
Journey of a Dream Animal: A Human Search for Personal Identity,
Julian Press, 1975 (Simon & Schuster paperback, 1977).

The River and the Stone:  Moses' Early Years in Egypt, E. P. Dutton, 1977.

The Silver Rose, Tower Books, 1982 (a romance set in the theatrical world
and written under a pseudonym, Jennifer Stephens)

Vengeance of the Cat Goddess, Avon Books, 1973 (a romance/mystery
set on an island off the coast of Maine and written under Jennifer Stephens)

The Green World Oracle:  Listening to the Voices of Sacred Trees & Plants  .............
(Text by Kathleen Jenks, artwork by Sandra Stanton)

At Play on Sacred Ground:  Implications of Non-Violence in Cell and Psyche

Published Papers:
"Changing Woman:  The Navajo Therapist Goddess," in Psychological Perspectives, Autumn 1986, published by the Jung Institute of Los Angeles

"The Navajo Mountainway Myth as a Metaphor for Past Life Experience," in The Journal of Regression Therapy, Fall 1988, published by the Association for Past-Life Research and Therapy.

Current Projects:

A Circle of Muses: a projected TV series with two of my Pacifica colleagues, Barbara Rogers-Gardner and Dianne Skafte, done Campbell-Moyers style, with vivid art and stories, but exploring paths that go "beyond the hero" and into the realm of more ancient wisdoms.  Where Campbell focuses on males, gods and young heroes, we focus on females, goddesses and old crones (but, to keep things balanced, also sages, shamans, dragons and Green Men).  A PBS station once hoped to do this series but pulled back when corporate and foundation money took a more conservative turn.  A new cable TV network then planned to produce the series until it too lost its funding.  We are currently exploring other possibilities.  Watch for further news here.

The Pegasus Project:  This is a proposed animated video series and will include stories from the Muse-voices of many cultures: Greece's Medusa and Pegasus; India's Voice-goddess Vak; the Navajo's Isansklesh; Russia's Malachite Goddess from the fairytale, "The Stone Flower" (see my references to this fairy tale in my Russian section).  Watch for updates here.

MYTHWORKS --  This is a huge project eventually involving Pacifica's myth students and colleagues from the wider academic community.  We hope to create a futuristic "cottage industry" in which we produce videos, films, and oracles -- each with a deeply mythic "voice."  We will also have a Speakers' Bureau as well as a Mythographic Consulting Service for various media and artistic projects.  Hopefully, projects such as the Circle of Muses and The Pegasus Project would be produced under the auspices of MYTHWORKS. Watch for updates here.
 If you have questions, comments or suggestions,
my email address will be found near the bottom of my home page.

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Latest updates: 6 September 1999; 5 July 2001; 20 February 2002 (updated e-mail);
20 September 2003 (belatedly, updated e-mail again);
29 September 2003, 2am (corrected e-mail update, changed background;
added Greece, Egypt & Near East to Academic Areas of Competence);
6 July 2007: updated info on my e-mail address.