Greek myth in literature, art, and music from antiquity to modern times. No prerequisites. Spring semester. Cross-listed with: WLIT 042.
Dates: June 20 - July 14, 2023; Asynchronous online
PLEASE USE THIS EMAIL TO CONTACT INSTRUCTOR email@example.com We’ll explore as many ways of myth as we can in our summer together. We’ll structure discussions of Classical Myth first by chronology, which will run as follows: Before the Greeks (Ancient Near East and the Indo-European past), the Greeks, the Romans, us. Secondly, we’ll structure discussions by themes, which map onto the four weeks of the course: (1) What is mythology in general? (2) What is Greek myth in particular (or, who is a hero)? (3) How does myth metamorphose in Roman culture? (4) How does myth transform in our modern world? Further themes will include myth and ritual, folktales, dreams. You will meet, or meet again, many major and some minor characters of Greek and Roman mythology. You will dive into several key literary genres of antiquity (including heroic epic, didactic, tragedy, etc.) from roughly 750 BCE to 100 CE. We will further examine the manifold meanings of myths to different eras, up to and including our own time (have you heard of the ‘Oedipal complex’ or read Ulysses?). Major texts to be taken on include Gilgamesh, Sophocles’s Oedipus the King, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, selections from James Joyce’s Ulysses. We will offer a first pass at various theoretical approaches to the interpretations of myth. No background required. Just read the works with devotion and come ready to discuss!
This course will be asynchronous online with lecture videos posted 4x per week. Daily online discussion is required; weekly quizzes will be a feature; a final paper must be submitted. The largest portion (50%) is discussion and participation: come and be truly present! Discussion board will require students to post one question and answer at least two posts. We will have a weekly multiple choice and/or matching quiz on all ‘characters’ encountered in the readings, along with short answers on concepts covered in class. Finally, we will evaluate based on a paper for Week 4 (25%): Typically a profile of one mythological figure or theme and how it develops to the modern world.
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