Summer 2015 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Riccio, Thomas
Discipline and Number
HUAS 6374 Section 59M
MW Time 5:30 PM - 9:45 PM
Course Title
Myth In/And 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:

The Hero and the Outlaw, Mark and Pearson
Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, by Chris Hedges
Myth, Mind and the Screen, John Izod
Myth: A very Short Introduction, by Robert Segal
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, by Scott McCloud

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

• Completion of reading assignments prior to class discussion
• Three short (3-5 page) response/analysis papers (topics to be assigned)
• Final research project on an approved subject
• One, 15 minute in class project presentation
• Class participation & Attendance

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