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120692 PS Proseminar Cultural and Media Studies (2019W)

"MYTH" - Transformations & Interrelations of a Core-Concept in Cultural Theories

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Titel: "MYTH" - Transformations & Interrelations of Core-Concept in Cultural Theories.
Theoretical & Practical Analysis

Friday 11.10. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 18.10. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 25.10. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 08.11. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 15.11. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 22.11. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 29.11. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 06.12. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 13.12. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 10.01. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 17.01. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 24.01. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21
Friday 31.01. 12:00 - 14:00 Helene-Richter-Saal UniCampus Hof 8 3G-EG-21

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

In this course, we will consider why the term “myth” is central to cultural theories and how it can be used as a tool for practical analysis of socio-ideological constructs and cultural representations.
Starting out with a consideration of the ancient Greek philosophical definition of “mythos” as synonymous with “falsehood” and “fabricated story”, we will see that this connotation resonates in the adaptations of “myth” as conceptual term in structuralist and poststructuralist theories. We will see how “myth” is (almost) consistently used
as a category for identifying and demystifying how dominant ideologies are naturalized in society as cultural meta-narratives representing “fact/norm/truth” and are internalized as such by a majority of people. “Myth” thus predominantly signifies for theorists a means of depoliticization which aims at eradicating the complexities of social relations, identities, subject-positions and functions as a concept to uncover invisible repressive mechanisms that govern the subject’s development in culture.

While analysing the specific meaning of “myth” in various theoretical contexts and attending to interrelations in conception, a further major aim of this course is show that these notions of “myth” MUST NOT be interchangeably used. The transformations in conceptual use of “myth” will be explained and clarified – on the one hand - by in-depth readings of theoretical texts and - on the other hand – by a practical application of each notion of “myth” to an analysis of a cultural text (film, literature, media examples).
In this context, students will learn how to use distinctive and diverse notions of “myth” as a tool for deconstructive reading strategies. We will see how the various films/ literary texts/ media examples under discussion e.g. either subversively re-interpret classical myths and mythological figures, critically interrogate cultural and economic myths like e.g. “the American dream”, interrogate the hyperrealities produced by media-saturated consumer-society, radically expose patriarchal and colonialist myths which legitimize gendered, sexualized, and racialized identities.
Theories addressed:

Barthes: semiotics - denotation/connotation/ “myth”
Foucault: genealogy - history as antidote to “myths of conformity” generated by regimes of “truth”
Psychoanalytical theory: use of myth/ology for psychosexual development:
Freud; Lacan: “myth of self” vs. French Feminism “deconstruction of phallo-logo-centric myths”
Beauvoir: “myths of femininity” – gender-power-dialectics
Irigaray, Cixous: Re-writings of Greek myths for subversive female subject positioning
Butler: “myth of sexual integrity / gender & sexual stability” – queer-studies; performativ/ity
Hall/hooks: myths of rachializing the Other
Said: “myths of Orientalism

Assessment and permitted materials

Regular participation
Oral presentation (10- max.15 mins)
Participation in plenum discussions
Short Reflections (300 words) - not fixed yet, depends on oral participation of students
Final written paper (3150-3850 words)
Detailed info-files and topic-sheets will be provided at the beginning and during the semester.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list

TENTATIVE LIST OF TEXTS
Campion, J. Holy Smoke! (1994)
Various semiotic media-examples/Groening, M. The Simpsons. (1989 TV-series)
Zeitlin, B. Beasts of the Southern Wild.(2012)
Photography of R. Mapplethorpe "Black Book" (1982)
Anderson, W. The Darjeeling Limited. (2007)
Trier, L. Dogville. (2003)
Fincher, D. Fight Club. (Palahnuik, 1996/1999)
The Knife. "Full of Fire" (2013, Music Clip - short film)

Association in the course directory

Studium: BA 612;
Code/Modul: BA09.1;
Lehrinhalt: 12-4040

Last modified: Tu 08.09.2020 13:28