F545 | 2439 | Schrempp

Meets with F755.  This course will survey the main perspectives that have
been brought to the study of myth in the twentieth century. These include
various psychological and sociological perspectives, attempts to revive
"comparative mythology," structuralist and deconstructionist approaches, and
analysis of context and performance. The emphasis will be upon discovering
what each method is able to reveal about the meaning and significance that
myths have in specific societies. Problems in characterizing and defining
myth (for example: is myth "rational"?) will also be considered.
Illustrations will be drawn from classical Greek, Native North American,
Pacific Island, contemporary "mass-media," and several other mythological
traditions. Main requirements are two papers and a brief presentation.
Reading load will be heavy.