Introduction to Mythology

Ref: C2227561

This course covers a range of myths from around the world, exploring common themes and stories, and seeking out the myths that still have crucial lessons for us. We begin with the question, "what is a myth?" and ask "what place do myths have in a rational world?" Using the myths of ancient Greece and Rome as our guide, we will find striking similarities in stories from other global traditions. Among the myths we shall discuss are the tales of Odysseus’s wanderings, the exploits of Dionysus, wild god of wine, and the metamorphoses described by Ovid. These familiar myths will be balanced by equally fascinating stories from other cultures – Hindu and Chinese creation myths, the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, Japanese and Australian solar deities, the Welsh tales known as the Mabinogion, tricksters of Africa and America, and the Norse vision of Ragnarök. The result is an insight into the essential questions that have animated human minds throughout recorded history.

Course aim

To explore a variety of ancient myths, getting to know the stories and thinking about their meaning. We will see how myths offer a unique way of understanding the world that still applies to the way we live now.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify common themes in famous myths
  • Understand the modern relevance of ancient myths
  • Share a range of meaningful and entertaining stories from world mythology
  • Develop skills in expressing your opinions based on the evidence in the texts.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • Extracts from the essential texts will be supplied.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • You are invited to propose a myth of your own choosing for class discussion.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Introduction to Mythology

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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