Credits: 1 or 3
This course explores the mythology, literatures, arts, and folklore of a variety of cultures in search of archetypal characters whose role is to mediate between nature and society. Beginning with sources as early as The Epic of Gilgameshand ending with contemporary film and media, the course seeks to examine and understand the ways in which diverse peoples integrate an awareness of their nature in their beliefs, values, and arts. The course examines texts from a variety of languages, including Akkadian, Latin, Tibetan, Sanskrit, Mongolian, German, French, and Italian, but all student readings are available in English; students with reading abilities in foreign languages will be encouraged to examine primary sources wherever possible. The course includes visits to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale Art Gallery, the Sterling Library Babylonian Collection, and the Yale Peabody Museum. The 1-credit option is available for students who do not choose to complete a final project, but wish to participate in all classes and museum/library visits. Three hours lecture/discussion.