COAS-E 103 25991 What is Myth? (Schrempp) (FOLK) (A & H) (3 cr.)

"Myth" (or “mythology”) refers to colorful stories that tell about the origin and nature of humans and the cosmos. Attitudes towards myth vary greatly. Some regard it as a source of spiritual growth, while others see only falsehood. Some see in myth the distinct character of particular cultures, while others see universal patterns. Some regard myth as "contemporary" and "alive", while others think of it as "ancient" and/or "dead". Some regard myth as easily dismissed, while others are astonished at how tenaciously myth seems to grip our minds and emotions.

We will explore the nature of myth in four cultural contexts: Maori (Polynesia), Native American, ancient Greek, and contemporary mass- media/entertainment. Lectures and discussions will be supplemented by visual materials. Course requirements include three short essays and a mid-term and final exam.