Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William F. Pinar


Autobiography in curriculum theory and practice is being more and more acknowledged as a major force leading toward the development of reflectively analytical teachers, reflexive practitioners, and discursively self-aware individuals. I look to two vital aspects of self-narration to explore. I speak firstly of memory, without which narrative continuity would be impossible. Memory is as involved with learning as it is with storytelling, and I would agree with Krell (1978) that "inquiry into memory and the theory of pedagogy go hand in hand" (p. 131). I eschew the models of memory provided by the behavioral sciences, empirical psychology, cognitive psychology, and the memory-as-a-mechanism model of neurophysiology for all these models end-up vanishing into metaphor. I embrace metaphor and attempt a more open-ended approach through phenomenology to the experience of memory. I freely employ the literary arts for their evocation of long-term memory (as opposed to the basically short-term studies of psychology). I maintain that memory is encoded as deep within language as the self and that it leads finally to the primordial narratives we call myths. Secondly, then, myth as foundational to both how and what we remember, and myth as present in the seams between words, is traced through language and the work of archetypal psychology. Remembering mythically is epistrophe (Hillman, 1979a). I use such memory and such myth to suggest the insubstantiality of the ego and the subject which remembers, and to explore the meaning of a memory which must recoil against action to see through the self.