Instructor: Candace Uhlmeyer

All formal contact must be made in person, or in writing via e-mail.
I am religious about answering e-mail, so any questions that occur to students out of class or when I am not on campus should be communicated to the above address.

The information below is as complete as I can make it; changes will be announced in class and on the schedule in the event that procedures need to be altered.


GE 3054 Winter 2015
Syllabus Information

Your official syllabus is available here in .doc format, and on the course page on eCompanion.

Instructional Method/Instructor’s Expectations

This course combines lecture with discussion and workshops designed both to introduce students to methods for studying myths and mythic traditions from around the world and throughout history, and to explore the many ways in which myths inform our creative lives. The course is also designed to foster creative engagement with mythical texts and works from historical sources.

The purpose of the course website is to augment the syllabus, support the lectures, and facilitate discussion. Students are expected to have completed assigned or suggested readings before each class. Additional resources are provided to foster further research, and to help students recognize high-quality, authoritative, scholarly sources for answering and exploring questions that arise during class discussions and readings.

All assignments will be introduced in class, and detailed guidelines will be linked to the online Weekly Schedule and below. Familiarity with the website and its resources is vital to students’ success in this class.

Course Requirements: You must complete the following assignments in order to earn a passing grade in the course.

Develop one term project appropriate to your field, to be completed by week ten. The project must be accompanied by an essay in which you ground the project within the scope of mythology and describe the process through which the project was developed and completed. In addition, an annotated bibliography that describes how each source contributes to the final product will enable me to assess the ability of students to engage in productive, appropriate, college-level research. A more detailed description of project choices and parameters can be found on the term project link. I will introdoce the project in class week 4, and provide a variety of examples from previous quarters. (30%: 10 percent for the project itself, and ten percent each for the essay and bibliography). An additional 5% will be awarded upon presentation of your project to your classmates). Students may work in small groups (of no more than three), but each member is responsible for his or her own essay.

By week five you must have developed a general idea of a topic so that you can discuss it with me informally before the mandatory research workshop scheduled for week 6.

Participate in a short group presentation on a mythic or archetypal figure with measurable impact on modern popular culture: witches, witches, wizards, vampires, werewolves, zombies, and/or the apocalypse. (10%) This assigment will be introduced week 5 and will be presented week 8. I have one excellent example to share with the class to inspire you all to high-quality work.

Participate in a variety of workshops designed to augment information and material covered in lectures and discussions (40%). In-class workshops will only earn points for those who attend and participate. One of the at-home workshops may be submitted late, but if either of the first two are not available for grading by week 5, your midterm grade will be negatively affected.

Maintain a workbook in which you house lecture and discussion notes, readings, class-related activities, and an ongoing collection of myth-related images, articles, and media notes (on websites, music, films, television, blog posts, and other evidence of the continuing influence of myth on popular culture). This is a bonus assignment which can earn up to 10 points. A rubric to be used for completing the workbook will be distributed in class.

Posing Questions

One of the most effective ways of engaging students in their own learning is to require the weekly development of discussion questions drawn from readings in the materials provided.

This practice involves asking students to pose open-ended questions (those that require more than one-word, single-answer responses and simple information) that address philosophical points, interpretation, or other issues raised by readings, films, or discussions on specific topics.

In order to accomplish this ungraded (but not unassessed) component of the class, begin by writing down anything you wonder about as we discuss various aspects of the course material. Then, simply raise these questions at appropriate moments in class. Keep track of your questions in your workbook, since they may lead you to make important connections over the quarter. In the end, you should have learned not only how to ask productive questions, but to pursue answers to them effectively. Your ability to formulate provocative and worthwhile questions will enhance your understanding of the material discussed in this class.