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Myth and Meaning in Ancient Worlds (6 points)
Leader: Constant Mews and Paul Forgasz
Synopsis: In every culture, myth has provided a powerful vehicle for discussing issues of major significance. This unit considers major mythic traditions from the Middle East, ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, and Celtic culture, examining their relationship to myth within the Hebrew Bible and early Christian writing. It explores what models they present of a spiritual journey, as well as their role in defining assumptions about ethnicity, gender and power. The unit will focus on how different ancient cultures have responded to the great questions of life, death, and the future of society, as well as on how their myths have been re- interpreted in the modern age.
Assessment: Analytic exercise in the interpretation of theoretical writing about myth (500 words): 10% + Short answer test about a variety of mythic traditions: 10% + Tutorial presentation (individual or group), 500 word outline: 10% + Research essay in analysis of a chosen mythic tradition, either in historical context or in contemporary reframing (1500 words): 35% + End of semester Exam (1.5 hr), testing knowledge of major literary texts and their context from 2 different traditions, as well as theoretical analysis of myth and its appropriate by other cultures : 35% + Students taking this unit at 3rd year level will be expected to formulate their own research essay topics and engage with several original texts.
Contact Hours: 2 one-hour lectures and a one-hour tutorial per week for 11 weeks
Australian Government Requirements for International Students - CRICOS Provider Number: 00008C
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