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CCOG for ENG 250 Fall 2022

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Course Number:
ENG 250
Course Title:
Introduction to Folklore and Mythology
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Develops a cross-cultural perspective on myths, mythologies and folklore from around the world. Explores different theories of the cultural meanings and functions of myth, past and present. Introduces various ways of interpreting and experiencing myth and folklore as texts with oral origins. Prerequisites: (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Instructors may choose an anthology with excerpts, complete works, or a combination of both. The assigned readings will cover a range and diversity of mythology and folklore.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Recognize the essentially oral nature of myths and folklore and examine how the context of oral performance shapes the meaning of a story.
  2. Analyze how a diverse range of specific myths function within the cultures that produce them.
  3. Analyze mythology and folklore using a variety of scholarly approaches.
  4. Recognize recurring mythological themes and motifs in traditional myths and the arts
  5. Explore how the collection, transcription and interpretation of myths reflect cultural struggle and historical patterns of domination.
  6. Write clear,focused, coherent essays about literature for an academic audience, using standard English conventions of grammar and style.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

English and Writing courses align with the PCC General Education philosophy by providing an appreciation of writing and literature from global and personal perspectives. Students in English courses engage the imagination, critical inquiry and self‐reflection, and in the process of doing so, cultivate a more complex understanding of their own culture(s), linguistic/communication practices, and perspectives in relation to others. Because the literary arts lie at the heart of most human cultures, they are essential for understanding each other and navigating our differences. In literature classes, students explore significant texts from diverse cultures and periods in history. Students look closely at texts from a range of genres, articulating the way elements of writing, content, form, and style are interrelated, and considering how values and interpretations have changed over time and through different theoretical lenses. Students engage texts through critical analysis and creative response, learning to use evidence to support their interpretations and to navigate critical conversations. Students explore literature both as an art form designed to provoke thought and challenge social norms, and as an expression of human experience. Writing and Literature courses foster a stronger sense of engagement with history, culture, and society. Writing and Literature students develop an awareness of themselves as readers and writers in a global world, and an enlarged understanding of the relationships between language, identity, ideas, scholarship, communication, and transformation.

Course Activities and Design

The course design can include lecture, discussion, and group work, along with other activities such participating in group projects, film viewing, and so forth. Student activities will include reading and responding to course materials along with participating in the various other course activities.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment tools may include informal responses to study questions; evaluation of small-and full-group discussion; in-class and out-of-class writing; formal essays, as well as informal responses to study questions and other types of informal writing; close reading exercises using support/evidence; writing exercises which include evaluation of various interpretations of a text and their relative validity. Both instructor and peer evaluation may be incorporated into the assessment process.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

The course will introduce and foster understanding of

  • topics and themes of mythology and folklore
  • nature and function of mythology and folklore
  • relationship of myth to art, religion, history, and society
  • literary genres (epic, lyric, tragedy) by which previously oral traditions were preserved
  • various definitions of myth, legend, saga, folklore
  • interplay between myth and society
  • concept of the epic hero
  • comparative mythology and folklore


  • Cinderella: A Casebook. Dundes. U Wisconsin P.
  • Classical Mythology. Powell. Prentice Hall.
  • Classical Mythology: Images and Insights. Harria and Platzner. Mayfield.
  • Classical Mythology. Morford and Lenardon.
  • Coyote Was Going There. Ramsey. U Washington P.
  • Elijah's Violin and Other Jewish Fairy Tales. Schwartz. Oxford UP.
  • Gabriel's Palace: Jewish Mystical Tales. Schwartz. Oxford UP.
  • Inanna. Wolkstein and Kramer. Harper and Row.
  • Memories and Visions of Paradise: Exploring the Universal Myth of a Lost Golden Age. Heinberg. St. Martin's P.
  • Miriam's Tambourine: Jewish Folktales from around the World. Schwartz. Oxford UP.
  • Mythmakers. Barnard. Breitenbush.
  • Old Tales and New Truths: Charting the Bright-Shadow World. King. State U of NY
  • Odyssey. Trans. Fagels. Penguin.
  • Orality and Literacy. Ong.
  • Perrault's Fairy Tales. Dover.
  • Trickster Makes This World. Hyde. Farrar, Strauss, Giroux
  • World Mythology. Rosenberg.