Lecture Schedule: Monday and Wednesday | 2:00 P.M. – 3:15 P.M.
Faculty: Stephanie Jamison | Indo-European Studies
Sara Burdorff | English, Coordinator
Olga Yokoyama | Linguistics
Librarian: Simon Lee | Powell
Writing Consultant: Peggy Davis | Writing Programs
Inquiry Specialist: Hannah Young

Before Marvel and DC comics brought gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines to the “big screen,” civilizations throughout the millennia have been rooted in myths. These ancient and modern tales speak to the origins and ends of things, and the dynamic exploration of fundamental cultural values. Students in the Cluster will be introduced in particular to Indo-European mythologies (Celtic, Classical, Germanic, and Indic). Faculty will examine mythology from folkloristic, anthropological, literary, historical, psychological, and linguistic perspectives. Through a rich variety of mythmaking media, from oral and written to gestural, musical, and visual, students will come to better understand the tenacity and pervasiveness of myth in human cultures.

What are the Benefits?

  • Satisfy 4 GEs requirements
  • Satisfy Writing II requirement
  • 18 units toward degree
  • College Honors units including Honors Collegium
  • Priority Enrollment in Eng. Comp. 3

Foundation Area General Education Credit

Upon completion of all three quarters of the cluster, students will satisfy 4 GE course requirements:

  • 2 in Foundations of the Arts & Humanities (Literary and Cultural Analysis; Philosophical and Linguistic Analysis)
  • 2 in Foundations of Society & Culture (1 in Historical Analysis; 1 in Social Analysis)

Course FormatI would definitely recommend this cluster, this was by far my favorite class. It is fun, not too difficult in terms of material learned, and it challenges you to become a better writer.

There will be two lectures every week, and a two-hour discussion section. In addition, films reflecting the tenacity and impact of myth in modern popular cultures will be screened on some evenings. Themes include:

  • The Concept of the Hero, from Gilgamesh to Superman
  • Homer, the Ramayana, and Other Epic Traditions
  • Myth at the Movies
  • Myth and Political Institutions/Movements
  • Powerful Speech: The Semantics of Muthos
  • Tricksters and Culture Heroes
  • The Storyteller and Her/His Muse

Spring Seminars

During spring quarter, students choose a seminar that allows them to explore a particular topic in greater depth. Previous seminar titles have included:

  • Mythological and Modern Heroes
  • Structural Approaches to the Study of Myth
  • Myth into Epic
  • Popular Film Genres as Laboratories for Myth
  • Gender and Myth
  • Myth and History