Comparative Literature | Introduction to Popular Culture
C151 | 14636 | Valverde, Maire

CMLT 151 (14636): Mythology and Popular Culture
Instructor: M. Valverde ,  TR 11:15-12:30 ,
Fulfills AH &CS Requirements

In this course, we will use mythology as a lens for understanding
and analyzing various styles, practices, and contexts of popular
culture.  The word mythology, split into two compounds, muthos (a
ritualized speech act) and logos (a convincing story or ordered
argument), derives from the Greeks and was created in an “attempt to
bring sense to the stylized narratives that [they] recited at
festivals, whispered at shrines, and bandied about at aristocratic
banquets.”  Though mythology does not manifest itself in the same
fashion or with the same purposes it once did, we have recycled and
re-produced it through various means.  Indeed, far from leaving
mythology behind, it remains a prevalent force in our lives,
especially in the realm of popular culture.  In examining mythology
through the lens of popular culture, we will consider questions such
as: To what degree has popular culture re-created and re-defined the
mythologies of particular cultures through time? To what extent do
we use popular culture to connect with mythologies that are distant
in time and space from our own societies?  How has popular culture
allowed us to create our own mythology, and how have we relied on
the mythologies of our predecessors to do so?  How has mythology
changed due to its primary vehicle of dissemination and re-creation—
popular culture?