Reading Myth 2024-25
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 1
Students on this module will engage with textual responses to inherited mythic structures in ancient Greek narratives, medieval saints lives, popular and historic genres such as epic, tragedy and romance, and in the stories we tell today, such as the war on terror or the American Dream.
The seminar programme will changes from year to year but typically the modules ranges from Ancient Greek representations of myth (e.g. Medea, Homer, Plato) to medieval accounts in dramatic and/or prose narrative (e.g. Thomas Beckett) and to varying accounts of saints’ lives. In the early modern period attention may be devoted to the changing importance of ancient mythologies in literary narrative (e.g. Neoplatonism, chivalric romance). In the more contemporary periods, options also change from year to year, but may include explorations of such pervasive constructs as the Founding of Empire (Kipling, Lessing), The American Dream (Capote, Fitzgerald, Highsmith), Orientalism and the Other (Henry James, Du Maurier, Highsmith), and The War on Terror (Buchan, Fleming, and Porter’s Empire State), for example.
-threshold -D- - D+: In order to merit the award of credit, students should demonstrate a solid comprehension of the position, content and interaction of the works of the theoreticians studied, succeeding in giving a clear analysis of their work. They should also demonstrate an awareness of critical thinking on the topic. -good -C- - B+: Students attaining the higher grades in this course will not only have understood the theories studied in their own right, but will explore their broader interaction in relation to the structures of identity, language and reality, paying close attention to the imagery and content of the works in question. -excellent -A- - A*: Students attaining the highest grades in this course will have produced convincing readings of both the theories studied and of their relationship as a whole. They will have supplemented set works with the confident use of either additional primary or secondary works. They will have demonstrated a very high level of engagement with the language and ideas of the pieces studied.
- Applied research skills with reference to textual analysis.
- Appraise the diversity of literature produced from antiquity to the twenty-first century
- Exploit library collections with reference to the early modern texts and databases of early modern literature
- Identify relevant textual interpretative strategies of analysis and comparative literature skills
2000-word essay. This essay will focus on at least one set text covered in weeks 7-12 and aim to develop further close reading skills and to combine them with enhanced critical and historical knowledge. Students are allowed to develop research performed in the initial presentation for this exercise. However, they must ensure that the research is relevant as a response to the set question.
One 10-minute recording presentation on a subject agreed between student and tutor linked to set texts studied in weeks 1-6. Students will be allowed to take forward part of the preliminary research performed in this exercise towards their final essay assignment.