Too frequently mythology conjures images of some ancient god zapping someone with a lightning bolt. Think again: The personality trait of narcissism dates back to a Greek character who could not get enough of himself and withers away. The protagonist in the television series Grimm can read people’s inner monster. Myth seeps into contemporary culture all the time.
Mythic Dimensions in Literature identifies key myths that have affected western culture, as well as myths of other cultures that both parallel and differ from western mythology. This course further explores how myths become intertwined with literature, film, and lived experiences. For example, how do creation and afterlife mythologies affect how you see the world? What does it mean to have a Zeus complex or a Narcissist complex and how do you deal with these encounters? What makes a place sacred and why does that matter? The final part of this course will place the themes we have studied under scrutiny and will examine how culture affects mythic construction. How, for example, does a mythology contribute to shaping a world view?
Come explore how mythology is a gateway to other worlds
David A. Leeming, The World of Myth (University Bookstore)
Leonard Scott and Michael McClure, Myth and Knowing: An Introduction to World Mythology (Rental)
Web Readings listed on the syllabus