The myths of the ancient Greeks and Romans open a vista onto their societies, cultures, and understanding of the world. The origin of the cosmos and of humans; the nature of the gods; beliefs and fears about sex, sexuality, marriage, family, and death; the use of myth for political ends (e.g, to empower particular ethnic groups or individuals): These will be explored through readings from epic poems, tragedies, and other primary sources (all in English translation), and through study of some theories of myth that have arisen since the 19th century. While our focus will be on ancient literature and art, the work of Suzan-Lori Parks, Vahni Capildeo, Ocean Vuong, and other authors will be considered to examine the reception and the creative (re)presentation of mythic traditions. Course requirements include weekly quizzes, a take-home midterm essay, an essay, a final exam, and regular attendance and participation.
Session D - 6 Weeks - July 3 to August 11