3054 Winter 2015
Your official syllabus is available here in .doc format, and on the course page on eCompanion.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.