Comparative Literature | Introduction to Popular Culture
C151 | 14635 | Andrew Gipe

CMLT-C151 (14635): Mythic Heroes and Popular Culture
Instructor:  A. D. Gipe  , TR11:15-12:30,   Fulfills AH and CS
The stories of our mythic heroes inform our understanding of human
behavior and effect our perceptions on many different levels of
consciousness.  This is no less true when we contemplate popular
culture. In this course, we will examine some major heroic
typologies in classical (and popular) literatures from around the
world.  Then, we will view how the typologies were changed and
adapted by Popular and Mass media; becoming again a part of populist
culture, examining film, advertisement, animation and television.
Throughout the course, we will also examine what popular
culture ‘is’ and what mediums it encompasses or effects.
diverse media as films, novels, theater, advertisements and
television. Hexes, witchcraft, magic carpets, teen witches, and
paganism will be among the objects of our study, and we will
scrutinize such issues as the relationship between magic and
science, the focus on gender and sexuality during the witch trials,
the ethics of spell casting, and both positive and negative
depictions of sorcery in children’s literature. Among other texts,
we will read selections from The Arabian Nights, the Malleus
Maleficarum, as well as The Crucible, Beloved, Harry Potter and the
Sorcerer’s Stone, and Like Water for Chocolate.