I HUM 150
World Mythologies in the Arts (3) Interdisciplinary, cross cultural, historical, and contemporary study of world mythologies as represented in the visual arts, literature, and film.
I HUM 150 World Mythologies in the Arts (3)
This course is an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, historical, and contemporary examination of myth as it appears in the visual arts, literature, and film. Each iteration of the course covers myths in the arts of at least several of the following cultures - Greek and Roman, Celtic, Norse, European, Egyptian, Near Eastern, Indian, Chinese, Pacific, African, and Native American. The course is thematic and intercultural, for example in the way myths are told in historical cultures and then retold and transformed in art, literature, and films in later cultures. The course is not a survey of world mythologies, but an interdisciplinary examination of myths in the arts such as painting, film, and literature, with an emphasis on the interpretations and transformative processes applicable to myths as they are (sometimes radically) altered and embodied in art forms that may be far removed in time, place, and meaning from the original contexts of they myths themselves. The films Whale Rider and, particularly, Dead Man, are rich examples of such mythological transformation. In the latter, the ideas of William Blake and Sioux and Inuit mythology are combined in original ways; such a transformed mythological example most likely would not appear in a typical survey of world mythology. The course is intended to familiarize students with the ways that different cultures have interpreted the world in which they live -- how cultures created their own explanations for phenomena they could not understand, and how contemporary culture gives new life to older myths. We will examine such questions as the meanings of myths as represented in the arts, the various purposes of myths in the arts, such as the functions of creation myths and myths of the hero; theories of how myths originate; and ways that myths have been analyzed, interpreted, and adapted in other cultures through the arts. We will consider in what ways myths are reconceived and altered when they appear in later cultures and in different media within the arts. Students learn to compare and contrast myths in the arts, discuss common elements in myths in the arts, and to interpret the meaning of the myths both within the cultural and historical context in which they were created and the ways they are reinterpreted in later cultures in the arts. Students may work individually and in small groups; may be expected to submit portfolios; may be given quizzes and mid-term and final exams; may be expected to write a term paper; may do a special project such as each student creating his/her own myth in literary, visual, or video form; may be asked to present material to the class.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.