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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Scottish Ethnology

Postgraduate Course: Mythology and Cosmology in an Oral Culture (SCET11028)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaScottish Ethnology Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe course will present students with some of the well-known myths from various parts of Europe and will interpret them selectively. It will introduce the theory and practice of modelling as a means entering a thought world where there are many unknown factors.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
The students will have gained knowledge and understanding of little-known materials and will have participated in a shared knowledge of a world of myth that is a rich part of our culture. They will have learned to think through questions in an area where there is still no consensus and so will have gained a mature ability to form independent judgements.
Assessment Information
One essay of 4000 words (100%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus The new approach to mythology as embedded in a total social and cosmological setting in an oral culture will be laid out at the start of the course, which will continue with the detailed examination of elements in Old Norse, Celtic, Indian and Greek mythological tales and fragments (all in English translation). Use will be made of a specially prepared CD called 'The Code of the Gods' which will facilitate the absorption and integration of the relevant set of concepts. There will be discussion throughout and the individual interests of students will be taken into account.
Transferable skills Students will gain the ability to:
Participate effectively in class discussion
Examine the material critically
Synthesise and present research in a written form
Reading list Allen, N. J. 2000. Categories and Classifications: Maussian Reflections on the Social. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books.
Berger, Peter L. 1969. The Social Reality of Religion. London: Faber and Faber.
Berger, Peter L. and Thomas Luckman. 1967. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Dodgshon, Robert A. 1985. 'Symbolic Classification and the Development of Early Celtic Landscape.' Cosmos 1:61-83.
Dumézil, Georges. 1973. The Destiny of a King. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. pp. 105-6 body parts
Faulkes, Anthony ed. 1987. Snorri Sturluson, Edda. London: J. M. Dent.
Finkelberg, Margalit. 2005. Greeks and Pre-Greeks: Perspectives on Aegean Prehistory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gantz, Timothy. 1993. Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Helms, Mary W. 1998. Access to Origins: Affines, Ancestors and Aristocrats. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Larrington, Carolyne, trans. and ed. 1996. The Poetic Edda. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lindow, John. 1997. Murder and Vengeance among the Gods: Baldr in Scandinavian Mythology. Folklore Fellows Communications No. 262. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, Academia Scientiarum Fennica.
Littleton, C. Scott. 1982. The New Comparative Mythology: An Anthropological Assessment of the Work of Georges Dumézil. 3rd edn. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press.
Lyle, Emily. 2010. 'The Cosmological Theory of Myth.'. In New Perspectives on Myth: Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference of the International Association for Comparative Mythology, Ravenstein the Netherlands, 19-21 August, 2008, edited by Wim M. J. van Binsbergen and Eric Venbrux, 267¿77. Haarlem: Shikanda.
Lyle, Emily. 2012. Ten Gods: A New Approach to Defining the Mythological Structures of the Indo-Europeans. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Lyle, Emily. Forthcoming 2012. 'Stepping Stones through Time.' Oral Tradition.
Lyle, Emily. Forthcoming 2013. 'The Good Man's Croft.' Scottish Studies.
MacKillop, James. 2005. Myths and Legends of the Celts. London: Penguin Books.
MacNeill, Máire. 1962. The Festival of Lughnasa. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mallory, J. P. and D. Q. Adams. 2006. Oxford Introduction to Proto Indo European and the Proto Indo European World. New York: Oxford University Press.
Maybury-Lewis and Uri Almagor, eds. 1989. The Attraction of Opposites: Thought and Society in the Dualistic Mode. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Mencej, Mirjam. 2005. 'The Slavic Summer/Winter Opposition in the Pastoral Year and the Christian and Pre-Christian Figures Identifiable as the Master of the Wolves.' Cosmos 21:79-111.
O¿Flaherty, Wendy Doniger. 1975. Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook translated from the Sanskrit. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Rees, Alwyn and Brinley Rees. 1961. Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales. London: Thames and Hudson.
Segal, Robert A. 2004. Myth: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
West, M. L. 1988. Hesiod. Theogony and Works and Days. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
West, M. L. 2007. Indo-European Poetry and Myth. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Witzel, E. J. Michael. Forthcoming 2012. The Origins of the World¿s Mythologies. New York: Oxford University Press.
Woodard, Roger D., ed. 2007. The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Neill Martin
Tel: (0131 6)51 1981
Course secretaryMs Christine Lennie
Tel: (0131 6)50 4167
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