Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: One of the following: ENGL 1A or 1AH or ESLL 26 strongly recommended; not open to students with credit in HUMN 3.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Synthesize critical thinking, imaginative, cooperative and empathetic abilities as whole persons in order to contextualize knowledge and make meaning.
  • Analyze two cinematic representations of the Trojan War from either different time periods (i.e. 60's and 90's) two different cultures.
  • Discuss the difference and similarities of the impact of Creation Myths in three different cultures.


An in-depth study of myths and legends, including, but not limited to, those from ancient Mesopotamia, classical Greece and Rome, Asia, India, Africa, Europe, and the indigenous Americas, and their adaptation in literature, art and film. The course traces both the function and influence of myths from diverse cultural contexts on our understanding of the past and our experience of modern/popular culture. As an honors course, it is a full seminar with advanced teaching methods focusing on major writing, reading and research assignments, student class presentations, group discussions and interactions.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. identify some major theories of myth interpretation.
  2. analyze how myths function as building blocks of culture.
  3. interpret mythic metaphors, symbols, and analogies.
  4. analyze how myths relate to rituals and morality.
  5. compare and contrast characters, events, symbols, and motifs in various myths and their adaptations.
  6. recognize mythological themes in modern culture, including literature, television and film.
  7. analyze how adaptations of myth seek to reflect, classify and define the cultural and social experiences of an age.
  8. identify how adaptations of mythology inspire and inform the various movie genres (action adventure, drama, romantic comedy, science fiction and fantasy).

Course Content

  1. Global myths (including, but not limited to, those of these cultures):
    1. Classical Greece and Rome
    2. Africa
    3. Mesopotamia
    4. North America
    5. South America
    6. India
    7. China
    8. Europe
  2. Theories of mythic interpretation (including, but not limited to):
    1. Ritual and myth
    2. Structuralism
    3. Functionalism
    4. Feminist
    5. Psychoanalytic/archetypes
  3. Universal mythic themes and characters
    1. Creation
    2. Destruction and rebirth
    3. Trickster
    4. Hero
    5. Heroine
  4. Adaptations of myths and ritual
    1. Literature
    2. Fairy tales
    3. Film
    4. Television
    5. Animation
    6. Visionary art
  5. Adaptations of myths in various film genres
    1. Documentary
    2. Action adventure
    3. Drama
    4. Romantic comedy
    5. Science fiction
    6. Fantasy
    7. Horror

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. LCD projector.
2. When taught via Foothill Global Access: on-going access to computer with internet browsing software, media plug-ins, and relevant computer applications.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Systematic and continuous participation in the course
Development of research project in the study of myths
Demonstration of critical, analytical research and writing skills
Collaborative discussion and analysis with classmates

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Seminar-style discussions

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Leeming, David. The World of Myth: An Anthology, 3rd ed.. 2018.

Reserved articles and studies in Library.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Bi-weekly assigned readings from 30-50 pages drawn from both primary and secondary sources
  2. Philosophical and literary critical readings designed to familiarize students with theories of myth interpretation
  3. Weekly one- to three-page essays requiring summary, interpretation, analysis, and synthesis of both original and secondary texts