Cross Cultural Studies 110

CCST 110
Germanic Sagas and Myths

1. Catalog Entry

CCST 110
Germanic Sagas and Myths

Credit hours (3)
Study in English of Norse and Germanic sagas and myths, of their provenance, and of their influence upon Western culture.  

Note(s): This course has been approved for Core Curriculum Credit in University Core B and College Core B in Humanities.  

2. Detailed Description of Course

Course Content: texts will include chapters on major deities and heroes, Germanic and Norse mythology and legends, and influence on later Western cultural artifacts.  Discussion of assigned readings will be supplemented by multi-media lectures focusing on early Germanic cultures and cults. The class will also read several sagas and epics (in translation). In these texts, students will see how gods and mortals interacted in the realm of Germanic myth.  Additional topics will include Norse and Germanic views of the afterlife, cults, early legends, and other aspects of religious cult and ritual.

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The class will be conducted in a lecture and discussion format. Lectures will cover assigned reading material but will also elucidate the historical, cultural and religious context of the assigned text. Questions will be asked of students to stimulate discussion, and consideration of variant versions and interpretations will be encouraged as will comparisons with more contemporary culture and art forms. Pictures will be shown to illustrate mythology in early Germanic artifacts and in later art - deities, heroes, associated symbols and adventures. Pictures of graves, significant sites and monuments associated with major Germanic deities and heroes will also be shown.  Excerpts of films and operas based on Germanic myths will also be viewed in class.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

Radford University students will understand that human experience has given rise to significant questions and be aware of the nature and methods of inquiry in the humanities.  

Radford University students will:
    1) Identify principles, concepts, or developments crucial to inquiry in a humanities
    2) Recognize how a method of inquiry in the humanities can be applied to a
       disciplinary question.

5. Assessment Measures

    1) Quizzes on assigned readings.
    2) Student projects based upon mythological themes including a written essay and a
       class presentation.
    3) Tests: three or four a semester, including final; format will be short-answer and also
       short essays which will focus on the societal and cultural context and perspectives
       of specific myths, on the use of specific myths to express human meaning, values
       and the purpose of early Germanic life, and on the interpretation of these texts
       and images as religious, literary and artistic expressions of the human experience,
       and on the extent to which these early or later expressions through myth are more
       or less comparable to our own experience.

6. Other Course Information

CCST 110 may be included in the German minor; independent study is available to German language students who agree to read and be tested on a smaller part of the course texts in German.    CCST 110 will also satisfy Core Curriculum credit in University Core B and College Core B in Humanities. Though not a literature course itself, this course does require reading several medieval epics, selections from earlier Germanic or Norse sagas, and some other German librettos (all in translation). Moreover, the study of mythology has traditionally served to transmit humanistic concepts basic to western civilization. There is no prerequisite for this course.

Review and Approval

September 2, 2014