College of Humanities and Social Sciences

ENGH 202: Texts and Contexts

ENGH 202-008: Myths and Legends Transformed
(Fall 2015)

12:00 PM to 01:15 PM MW

Robinson B228

Section Information for Fall 2015

Becfola chariot

Another title for our course might by "Heroes, Siblings, and Lovers."  There is more to mythology than Greece and Rome, and part of our work will be to discover these new fields, sometimes in modern settings.  We will consider a selection of Greek myths, especially those that artists have illustrated repeatedly, before turning to some tales of love and adventure from Celtic mythology, and we will also examine some Norse tales and their modern adaptations.

Texts speak to us; we learn, by doing, how to listen.  The relation between texts and cultures is dynamic; it is not the case that the former somehow "reflect" the latter (a slippery idea at best); rather, texts are both products of culture and producers of culture.  Working through these unfamiliar texts we will require close, careful reading, and this course is designed to refine your skills in reading.  Our concern will be the communicative strategies by which storytellers and poets focus our attention on the essential qualities of the texts they produce.

Possible texts: Ovid's Metamorphoses, the Welsh Mabinogi and a novel or two based on Celtic motifs, the Norse Elder (Poetic) Edda, the Prose Edda and modern literary adaptations of this material.  Written work: three extended essays; several quizzes and short reading papers; and a final examination.

Image: The Irish heroine Becfola in her Chariot

Satisfies the English BA requirement for the concentration in literature.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Studies literary texts within the framework of culture. Examines texts within such categories as history, gender, sexuality, religion, race, class, and nation. Notes: Builds on reading and writing skills taught in ENGH 201. May be repeated within the term.
Mason Core: Literature
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 credits of 100-level English.
Schedule Type: Lecture

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