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In Search of Myths and Heroes: A Global Tour of Fantastic Fictions

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Duration 10 weekly meetings
Tutor Dr Juliette Wood
Course code FOL20A5436A
Fee £170
Concessionary fee £136 (find out about eligibility and funding options)

50-51 Park Place
CF10 3AT

The search for the meaning of myth is as old as culture itself.

This search has been embodied in the fictions of many nations from the Greek Iliad and Odyssey, the Vikings sagas and the Mayan Popul Voh and North American tricksters.

You will study a wide range of myths from ancient Mesopotamia to classical Greece and Rome, from the heroic worlds of Vikings and Celts and the mythologies of the Mayans, Aztecs and Native Americans.

You will explore the myths themselves and the ways in which they have influenced other aspects of culture from art to literature, film and fantasy, nineteenth century revivals and contemporary paganism.

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through ten 2-hour sessions, made up of lectures, class discussions, small group work, and debates. Class sessions will be supplemented by resources available to students via Learning Central.

Syllabus content

  • The Children of Zeus: Classical myths and their influence
  • Vikings worlds past and present
  • From Celtic myths to Mysterious Celts
  • Mayan and Aztec world views
  • Angelic Beings throughout the world
  • North American mythologies
  • Underworlds around the world
  • Japan and China: mythology, manga and martial arts
  • Sea myths, water mamas and incantados

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

You will be asked to undertake two short assignments, totalling 1,500-2000 words.

Reading suggestions

  • Carolyne Larrington ed. The Feminist Guide to Mythology (1995 Pandora, London)
  • Robert Segal, Theorizing About Myth. (Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999).
  • Explaining Myth (Sheffield Equinox Press, 2000)
  • Brian Attebery, “Aboriginality in Science Fiction.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 32, no. 3, 2005, pp. 385–404. JSTOR,
  • Wendy Doniger, Other peoples' myths: the cave of echoes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.