COURSE SYLLABUS

 

 

 

HUM 220

 

HUMAN VALUES AND MEANING

                     

 

I.            COURSE DESCRIPTION:

 

This course provides an in-depth study of myths and legends.  Topics include the varied sources of myths and their influence on the individual and society within diverse cultural contexts.  Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a general familiarity with myths and a broad-based understanding of the influence of myths and legends on modern culture. This course has been approved to satisfy the comprehensive Articulation Agreement general education core requirement in humanities/fine arts.

 

II.            COURSE OBJECTIVES:

 

Upon completion of this course, a student should:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

III.            OUTLINE OF INSTRUCTION (Based on the suggested texts in VI below):

 

PART I – Introduction to Myth and Myths of Creation and Destruction.

TIME: APPROX. 7 WEEKS

READING ASSIGNMENTS

 

Section One:  Introduction

 

WEEK 1-2:

           

            ITM             Ch 1, "What is Myth?”

ITM             Ch 2, “Ways of Understanding Myth”

 

 

Section Two A:  Myths of Creation and Destruction: Creation

 

WEEK 3:

 

ITM             Ch 3, “Greek Creation Stories”

MIA            pp 136-144

ITM             Ch 4, “Ovid’s Creation Story”

 

WEEK 4:

 

ITM             Ch 5, “Biblical Creation Stories”

ITM             Ch 6, “The Prose Edda’s Creation Stories”

            MIA             pp 276-278

 

WEEK 5:

 

ITM             Ch 7, “Native American Creation Stories from the Southwestern United States”

            MIA             pp 590-595

ITM             Ch 8, “African Creation Stories”

            MIA             pp 626-628

 

Section Two B: Myths of Creation and Destruction: Destruction

 

WEEK 6:

 

ITM             Ch 9, “Ragnarok”

            MIA             pp 320-325

 

WEEK 7:

 

ITM             Ch 10, “Biblical Flood Stories”

ITM             Ch 11, “Ovid’s Flood Story”

 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY: Test or paper.

 

PART II – Ritual and Myth.

TIME: APPROX. 3 WEEKS

READING ASSIGNMENTS

 

Section Three:  Heroes and Tricksters 

 

WEEK 8:

 

ITM             Ch 12, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

ITM             Ch 13, The Epic of Gilgamesh

MIA             pp 116-133

ITM             Ch 14, “A Levi-Straussian Analysis of The Epic of Gilgamesh

ITM             Ch 15, “The Ramayana”

            MIA             pp 352-359

 

WEEK 9:

 

ITM             Ch 16, “Heroes in The Prose Edda

            MIA             pp 282,286,296

ITM             Ch 17, Oedipus the King

ITM             Ch 18, “The Structural Study of the Myth”

ITM             Ch 19, “Raven: A Native American Trickster”

            MIA             pp 508-511

 

WEEK 10:

 

ITM             Ch 20, The Mwindo Epic

ITM             Ch 21, “African and African-American Trickster Stories”

ITM             Ch 22, “Prometheus: The Greek Trickster”

            MIA             pp151     

ITM             Ch 23, “ Looking Back at Heroes: The Different Versions of a Myth”

 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY: Test or paper

 

 

PART III – Ritual and Myth and Myth in Folktales and Literature.

TIME: APPROX. 6 WEEKS

READING ASSIGNMENTS:

 

Section Four: Ritual and Myth

 

WEEK 11:

 

ITM             Ch 24, “Ritual”

ITM             Ch 25, “Demeter and Persephone: The Homeric Hymn to Demeter” 

            MIA             pp 162-165

ITM             Ch 26, “Isis and Osiris”

            MIA             pp 42-43

 

WEEK 12:

 

ITM             Ch 27, “Deciphering a Meal”

ITM             Ch 28, “Rituals of Northern Europe”

            MIA             pp 266-267

            ITM             Ch 29, “Heracles and Dionysus”

 

Section Five: Folktale and Myth

 

WEEK 13:

 

ITM             Ch 32, The Morphology of the Folktale

            ITM             Ch 33, “A Proppian Analysis of The Wizard of Oz

            ITM             Ch 34, Household Tales

 

WEEK 14:

 

ITM             Ch 35, “Cupid and Psyche”

ITM             Ch 36, “Using Multiple Analysis to Highlight Different Aspects of the Same Tale”

 

Section Six: Modern American Myths

 

WEEK 15:

 

ITM             Ch 37 “A Study of the Construction of the Daniel Boon Myth”

ITM             Ch 38 “Star Trek and The X-Files: The Changing Views of Science and Religion”

 

Section Seven: Myth and Literature

 

WEEK 16:

 

ITM Ch. 39 “Mythological Themes in Poetry”

            ITM Ch. 40 “Mythological Themes in Native American Literature”

            ITM Ch. 41 “Mythological Themes in Modern Narrative”

 

            SUGGESTED ACTIVITY: Test or paper

 

IV.            CREDIT, HOURS, PREREQUISITES:

 

Course hours per week: 3

Semester Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: Eng 111

Corequisites: None

 

V.            EVALUATION:

 

The student’s grade will be determined on test scores, written assignments, and projects/papers, as assigned by the instructor.

 

VI.            SUGGESTED TEXTS:

 

TEXTS:

 

Little, C. Scott, ed. Mythology: The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling, San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 2002.

 

Thury, Eva M and Devinney, Margaret K. Introduction to Mythology:  Contemporary Approaches to Classical and World Myths, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2005.

 

 

INTERNET:

 

 

Ancient Greek Myth, at http://www.greekmyth.org/.

 

Eliade, Mircea. From Primitives to Zen, http://alexm.here.ru/mirrors/www.enteract.com/jwalz/Eliade/

 

 

The Epic of Gilgamesh.  At http://gilgamesh.psnc.pl/.

 

The Epic of Gilgamesh. At http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gilgamesh/.

 

Exploring Ancient World Cultures. At http://eawc.evansville.edu/index.htm.

 

 

VII.            SUGGESTED REFERENCES:

 

Bibliographic material can be found in the suggested texts.