The World of Myths and Legends

Course Code: HUMA 260

Academic Year: 2023-2024

From ancient legends to video games, stories follow recognizable patterns that tell us much about our values, fears, and desires. 'Gods' and 'heroes' make us think of the boundaries between human and nonhuman, self and other, real and unreal. Offering a fertile source for plots and themes, myths present a set of possibilities to be investigated, challenged, and rewritten. This course will explore the role myths play in our social and cultural imagination, and examine what it means to be rendered mythological, heroic, or legendary. We will examine legendary depictions of love, tyranny, war, heroism, courage, tricksters, goddesses, zombies, fate, and the apocalypse as they appear in celebrated epics, tragedies and comedies, with additional focus on how these myths and legends continue to live and grow in contemporary media storytelling. We will look at myths and legends in popular culture, and explore the significance of the "mythic" and "legendary" in political, social, and cultural discourses.