Summer 2010 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Riccio Thomas
Discipline and Number
HUAS 6303 Section 59M
MTW Time 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Course Title
Myth and/in Media

Description of Course:

The class will explore, from a mythological perspective, how we have come to live in a world surrounded by an increasingly pervasive, powerful deluge of media representations. A world where reality incessantly spins, blurs, blends, and folds. A place of extremes, contrasts and contradictions, where what is real, virtual, fact, fiction, illusion, hyperbole, history, memory, culture, identity, brand, imagination, art, and fantasy can reconfigure according to necessity of its moment. Ours is a post-modern world of fragments, modularity, multiple contexts, and truths, performance, self-awareness, reflexivity, and of copies, recombinations, reinventions, and reconsiderations without originals. It is a world of undergoing a global cultural emergence that is being mediated by new media. We are living in a world with, and immersed in, media. Our way of being and fundamental understanding of self, the world, time and space, is through the medium, form and content, of media. The course will examine the emergence of a media immersed world as part of a transformation, if not cultural and biophysical evolution. That media can instantaneously have a global reach in an intimate and individualized way is unprecedented. Media is facilitating the creation of new mythologies, a new way of being in the world whereby we are becoming a self-aware performer in a narrative we are creating.

Required Texts:

Theogony and Works and Days
Hesiod, (Schiegell and Weinfield eds.)
Univ. of Michigan Press

In Quest of the Hero
Rank, Raglan, Dundes
Princeton Univ. Press

The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man
Herbert Marshal Mcluhan
Gingko Press

by De Zengotita
Bloomsbury, 2005

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

• It is a short, intense course, so attendance and active participation is important.
• 2 in-class projects dealing with aspects of the course theme.
• 1 short reaction paper.
• 1 final project. According to the interest of the student, may be in written, performed, or digital form (virtual, video, sound). To be presented in-class on finals day.

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