Print Version

Effective: Summer 2017

Advisory: Advisory: One of the following: ENGL 1A, 1AH, 1S & 1T or ESLL 26 strongly recommended; not open to students with credit in HUMN 3H.
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Humanities Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture. (48 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Analyze two cinematic representations of a myth or mythic theme from either different time periods (i.e. 60's and 90's) or two different cultures.
  • Discuss the difference and similarities of the impact of Creation Myths in three different cultures.
Description -
An in-depth study of myths and legends, including, but not limited to, those from ancient Mesopotamia, classical Greece and Rome, Asia, India, Africa, Europe, and the indigenous Americas, and their adaptation in literature, art and film. The course traces both the function and influence of myths from diverse cultural contexts on our understanding of the past and our experience of modern/popular culture.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. identify some major theories of myth interpretation.
  2. analyze how myths function as building blocks of culture.
  3. interpret mythic metaphors symbols, and analogies.
  4. analyze how myths relate to rituals and morality.
  5. compare and contrast characters, events, symbols, and motifs in various myths and their adaptations.
  6. recognize mythological themes in modern culture, including literature, television and film.
  7. analyze how adaptations of myth seek to reflect, classify and define the cultural and social experiences of an age.
  8. identify how adaptations of mythology inspire and inform the various movie genres (Action Adventure, Drama, Romantic Comedy, Science Fiction and Fantasy).
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
LCD Projector, DVD Player.

When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with java-script enabled Internet browsing software, media plug-ins, and relevant computer applications.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Global Myths (including, but not limited to, those of these cultures):
    1. Classical Greece and Rome
    2. Africa
    3. Mesopotamia
    4. North America
    5. South America
    6. India
    7. China
    8. Europe
  2. Theories of Mythic Interpretation (including, but not limited to):
    1. Ritual and Myth
    2. Structuralism
    3. Functionalism
    4. Feminist
    5. Psychoanalytic/Archetypes
  3. Universal Mythic Themes and Characters
    1. Creation
    2. Destruction and Rebirth
    3. Trickster
    4. Hero
    5. Heroine
  4. Adaptations of Myths and Ritual
    1. Literature
    2. Fairy Tales
    3. Film
    4. Television
    5. Animation
    6. Visionary Art
  5. Adaptations of Myths in Various Film Genres
    1. Documentary
    2. Action Adventure
    3. Drama
    4. Romantic Comedy
    5. Science Fiction
    6. Fantasy
    7. Horror
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Exams
  2. Evaluation of contributions to class discussions
  3. Formal Essay
  4. Project/Portfolio/Presentation
Representative Text(s) -
Leeming, David A. The World of Myth: An Anthology. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2014.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture Presentations
  2. In-class Discussions
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Bi-Weekly assigned readings from 20-50 pages drawn from both primary and secondary sources.
  2. Brief philosophical and literary critical readings designed to familiarize students with theories of myth interpretation.
  3. Weekly one- to two-page essays requiring summary, interpretation, analysis, and synthesis of both original and secondary texts.