Folklore | Myth, Legend & Popular Science
F210 | 24895 | Schrempp
Myths are colorful stories that tell about the origins of the world
and about the deeds of larger-than-life characters. Myths are often
set in ancient times or said to be "timeless." Legends tell of more
recent and/or contemporary events that are memorable or startling.
While plausible, legends are often not wholeheartedly believed.
Popular science is a contemporary literary genre in which qualified
scientists explain recent findings in terms that are broadly
accessible and appealing. Myth, legend, and popular science all
present basic propositions about the nature of the cosmos. In this
course we will compare these three genres, asking about the ways in
which they converge and diverge, and about the features of each that
might lead us to believe or discount their claims. The goal of the
course is to gain understanding of these genres and, through them, a
critical awareness of forms of persuasion that confront us every
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