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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Humanities Department
Course Prefix and Number: ENGL 123
Course Title: Introduction to Mythology and Folklore
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Study of mythologies of various cultures especially Greek and Roman, but including Norse, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Native American, African and Polynesian. G.E. Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Occasional offering.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Many mythology texts are suitable for this course as long as they include coverage of the cultures listed above. Those listed below represent texts which provide coverage of Eastern and Western cultures within a range of mythological approaches and biases.

Mythology: The Voyage of the Hero
By Leeming, David Adams (Harper and Row)
Classical Mythology
By Morford, Mark, P.O. and Robert Leonardon (Longman)
World Mythology: an Anthology of the Great Myths and Epics
By Rosenberg, Donna (NTC Publishing Group)
Course Objectives
  • To undertake an intensive course of readings, discussions and written exercises about mythology.
  • To evaluate archetypal mythological stories and figures as they appear in a variety of the world’s cultures.
  • To explain the varying role of myths in society.
  • To demonstrate the significant parallels in the structure of myths of diverse cultures.
    Measurable Learning

    • Describe how myths express and examine the archetypal patterns and symbolic events common to the myths of all cultures. • Explain how myths are the stories that express and examine basic ethical questions of humanity, the relationship of individuals to society, and of human society to the cosmos. • Explain the relationship of these myths to society from a variety of critical perspectives (e.g. anthropological, psychological and literary). • Identify the defining characteristics of common mythological figures: the hero, trickster, fertility god, earth mother.

    Topical Outline:
  • Defining mythology and its role in culture
  • Greek/Roman mythology
  • Myths and other cultures, such as Norse, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Native American, African and Polynesian
  • A survey of key figures and tales, such as the hero, the trickster, creation, and the flood
  • The problem of parallel myths

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Johanna Denzin Date: November 3, 2008
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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