Scribner Seminar Program
Myth Conceptions: The Making and Taking of Legends
Instructor(s): Dan Curley, Classics
What is a myth? Or, rather, who makes myth, and why? Students in this course will explore the process and purpose of mythography, or the composition of myth. Starting with examples of poetry, painting, and sculpture from ancient Greece and Rome, students will establish some ground rules for working from and creating innovations within an established tradition. Students will then put their theories to the test by examining mythography in modern-day contexts, such as novels, film franchises, television series, comics, and fan fiction. Of particular interest is how modern-day mythographers use copyrighted characters: what happens when their stories strain against the confines of corporate standards, or take on lives larger than the intentions of their original creators? Ultimately, students will understand myth not only as a certain type of story, but also as a social discourse, through which mythographers reveal themselves and their values to the world.