Summer 2011 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Riccio, Thomas
Discipline and Number
HUAS 6303 Section 55A
TR Time 5:30 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 mythological informed media representations.

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 expressions. A world where reality incessantly spins, blurs, blends, and folds time and space to create a new understanding of reality. A place of extremes, contrasts and contradictions, where what is real, virtual, fact, fiction, illusion, hyperbole, history, memory, mythology, culture, identity, brand, imagination, art, and fantasy can mash, morph and reconfigure according to necessity of its moment. Ours is a post-modern world of fragments, modularity, multiple and negotiable contexts and truths, a world of performance, self-awareness, reflexivity, and of copies, re-combinations, reinventions, and reconsiderations without originals. It is a world of undergoing a global cultural emergence mediated by media. Yet the content, language, formations, and templates applied are mythological, if not fundamental, to the origins of human consciousness and civilization. The potent combination of Myth and/in Media is not only reiterates and reaffirms old while facilitating the creation of new mythologies, a new way of being in the world whereby we are becoming a self-aware performers and characters in a narrative we are simultaneously creating and enacting.

Required Texts:

Simulacra and Simulation by Baudrillard
Understanding Media by McLuhan
Mediated by De Zengotita
Myth and Meaning by Levi-Strauss
Images and Symbols by Eliade
The Hero and the Outlaw by Mark and Pearson

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

• It is a short, intense course, so attendance and active participation is very important.
• 2 short reaction papers—5 page minimum
• Field Research project and documentation (may relate to short papers and/or final project).
• Completion of reading assignments and participation in seminar discussion.
• Course attendance
• 1 final project—topic subject to instructor-student agreement dealing with myth/media manifestations and may coordinate with short papers and/or field research projects.

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