HUM 121 - Myth
This writing-intensive course surveys ancient and modern world myths that still have an impact on our self-concepts and/or inform our ideas of society, power, and social structure. Narrative myths are studied as well as their interpretations in visual art and music. Beginning with a focus on Babylonian and Egyptian mythology, the course uses literature, art, music and film to evaluate mythology's place in helping us to understand the human condition and in understanding how humans perceive and structure society. Readings vary from semester to semester, but will include stories from major world mythologies, various geographic regions, and various historical periods, for example Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman, Celtic, Germanic, Asian, North and South American, African, and Australian traditions.
Upon sucessful completion of this course, students should be able to:
Analyze and interpret myths to gain an understanding of how they function and change within/across historical contexts, societies, groups, and cultures.
Identify and paraphrase mythological themes and motifs that are universal across world cultures.
Identify how mythic stories reveal and support social structures and cultural values.
Compare aspects of myth-based fiction as seen in film, novels, popular culture, and television.
Identify versions of myths in rituals, visual art, and music.
Analyze in writing and discussion the differences between the original myths and their current manifestations.
Demonstrate the concept of “storytelling” rights as these relate to power and prestige.
Discuss in writing how myths/stories can construct ideas about race, socio-economic status, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, and sexual orientation and how stories can be used to institutionalize inequities.
Using elements of the writing process, produce a well-documented, well-researched final paper on an assigned topic in mythology.
Lecture Hours: 3
Course Prerequisites: Prereq: ENG 100 with a C or better