Myth and Myth Theory

Subject Name: 

Humanities Arts Cultural Stu

Course Number: 
Hampshire College
In the fourth century BCE, Plato already anticipated the popular derogatory conception of myth as an imaginative fabrication--pseudos, "a lie." Throughout Western history, however, and particularly since the rise of Romanticism, thinkers from various disciplines have viewed the stories of antiquity in more constructive terms. What is "myth"? Deliberate falsehood or veiled truth? Is it a term applicable to or recognizable in non-Western cultures also? What is the relationship between myth and history, myth and literature, myth and ideology? These are some of the questions this course is designed to address. Its purpose is to introduce students to three rich bodies of mythology--classical Greek, Norse, and Hindu--and to investigate an array of theoretical approaches to the study of myth, from the fields of anthropology, sociology, the history of religions, philosophy, psychology, and literary theory. Theorists to be considered include: Frazer, Durkheim, Malinowski, Levi-Strauss, Freud, Jung, Campbell, Eliade, Langer, Frye, Doniger, and Barthes.

Independent Work Multiple Cultural Perspectives Writing and Research

Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 

Course Sections

Myth and Myth Theory
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
2 4.0

Alan Hodder

02:00PM-03:20PM T,TH

Franklin Patterson Hall 106