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Spring 2014 Course Descriptions

English 3009G  Myth and Culture (3 Sections)

English 3009G Section 002    CRN 31603
Myth and Culture    1100-1215 TR

This course will involve an in-depth look at the myths and culture of three Asian countries, namely, India, China, and Japan. In the Indian segment, we will read the Hindu and the Buddhist (the Hinayana or the Theravada) myths. The study of Hinduism will include the Vedic and Puranic (The Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita) Mythology. The Chinese segment will include the study of Confucianism and Taoism. Finally, the Japanese segment will focus on Zen Buddhism and Shinto Mythology. The primary orientation of this study will be to develop a clear understanding of (a) philosophical and religious interpretations of the concepts of creation/origin of the world, death, divinity, fate, the ultimate goal(s) of human life, etc., and (b) social systems and moral/ethical values of these cultures. Whenever possible, we will also compare the commonalities and differences among these three Asian cultures and mythologies. Course requirements will include mid-term and final exams, one research paper, and active preparation and class participation.  (Group 5)


English 3009G Section 003    CRN 31604
Myth and Culture     1400-1450 MWF
The poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote that “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” Myth and Culture is a course about such stories, stories so powerful that they shape the ways in which people come to understand the world and its possibilities. We will read ancient stories that do just that: the story of Gilgamesh (the oldest written story), the Book of Job, the Bhagavad-Gita, Homer’s Iliad (in excerpts), and Sophocles’s Theban plays.

The course will require dedicated daily work (reading and talking), several short pieces of writing, and a final examination. (Group 5)