Exploration of mythology both as a kind of knowing and as sacred stories in religion, literature, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and science. A: Mythology of the Americas Study of the myths, tales, and legends told by the native peoples of the New World, which open roads that lead the imagination into alternative worlds. The class will read and listen to the words of native storytellers, orators, singers, and dramatists. For example: Prof. J. Frake: Gods, Heroes and Dragons: Germanic Mythology The course explores the importance of the Germanic mythological corpus for medieval literature and on its continued influence on post- Renaissance European culture. In each case a selection of material has been made to illustrate the uses to which Germanic mythology has been adapted: artistic, social, political, didactic. The course content ranges from the `high art of Wagner to the `triviality of Thor comics, from Beowulf to Borges. The course deals with Germanic mythology from four different perspectives, each of which is characteristic of one of the stages of the interpretation and reception of the originally religio-mythological texts: 1) myth as religious artifact; 2) myth as an integral source of cultural values and artistic material; 3) myth as Romantic ideal and artificial source of cultural values (Wagner, Tolkien); 4) myth as ideological vehicle for an artificial system of values (modern exploitations in politics, film, video games, clubs). For example: Prof. D. Tedlock, Myth in the Americas Myths not only create imaginal worlds that offer alternatives to the life world, but also offer keys to the interpretation of the life world itself, revealing a mythic level of significance in everyday events. Myths also give shape and meaning to dreams and visions, and dreams and visions give rise to further myths. This course will try to catch those moments when the mythic world comes in contact with the world of experience. We will undertake a close reading of selected myths from the Americas, attempting to enter imaginal worlds and to look back at the life world from a distance. We will consider myths that come down to us from storytellers, speechmakers, singers, and dramatists. In addition to readings, lectures, videos, and discussions, there will be guest appearances by Native American storytellers. For example: Prof. D. Christian, Myths of Origin This class will consider myths of origin and sexual organization from all over the world, ancient and modern. Where and how did the world and we come to be? This course is the same as ENG 377, and course repeat rules will apply. Students should consult with their major department regarding any restrictions on their degree requirements.
Grading: Graded (GRD)
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring