ENGL379T - Special Topics in Literature; Folklore, Themes, and Archetypes in Literature

This course is an intense look at the idea of Folklore and its role in the invention of, and continuing stimulus to, literature.  We shall review the principles of such topics as myth, legend, modern urban myths, folktale, folksong, joke cycles, proverbs, placenames, themes and archetypes in lit, ethnography, etiology, eschatology, and lots of homage to Sir James George Frazer and the Brothers Grimm.  Literary texts suffused with folklore that may be included are medieval drama, "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," plays such as "Macbeth" and Ben Jonson's "Bartholomew Fair," Chaucer, T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land," a few short stories by William Faulkner, some novels by Alan Garner, Marina Carter, Zora Neale Hurston, and Thomas Hardy, and some Irish plays by Brian Friel, Colin MacPherson, or Yeats.   Required: 35 pages of papers (including a literary study of 10 pages; and a ethnographic interview about the beliefs of a rtelative or any recent immigrant to America), three exams, and (perhaps) attendance at a play in D.C.

Note: Repeatable up to 9 credits if content differs.