COMPARATIVE MYTHOLOGY

Course INFORMATION: HUMAN 8

INSTRUCTOR: Sarah Whylly

DESCRIPTION

This course investigates myths representing diverse global cultures; introduces scholarly theories and methods of interpretation; compares and contrasts plot structures, themes and character types within and across cultures; and traces myth's relationship with religion and the arts.

Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Recognize and apply several different approaches to the study of myth.

  2. Compare and contrast the similarities and differences in myths of various cultural origins,

    including representative examples from at least three of the following cultural areas: Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America and Pacific Islands.

  3. Identify and analyze patterns or themes reflected in myths, whatever their origins.

  4. Place the myth in cultural context and establish interconnections with other art forms and cultures. 

READING

Most of the comprehension of the learning you will do in this course will come from careful reading of assigned texts and class discussion. You will encounter a variety of writing styles in this class: philosophical essays, religious, and historical documents. You will also be analyzing works of literature and synthesizing materials written about culture with cultural products themselves. 

All of your assigned readings will come from material available online although many of these are available in material print as well. The materials, in e‐format, can be read on any device: Kindle, IPad, laptop, desktop; even most smartphones. I recommend purchasing the textbook through Amazon as it is very cheap and Amazon provides explicit instructions as to how to download the text. The following are required for purchase for this course:

  • Myth: A Very Short Introduction, Robert Segal, ISBN‐13: 978‐0192803474 ISBN‐10: 0192803476
  • Scribd.com Membership – www.scribd.com; An online library with a collection for our course called Human 8 Comparative Mythology Readings; $9.00 per month; you will need it for 2 months.

There will be other materials required for reading during the course, however, these will available as e‐books through the SRJC Library and posted, by me, on our Course Site. This can be done either on or off‐campus.