World Mythologies

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HUM 210

       Course Name: World Mythologies

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores the nature of mythology. Content includes themes, archetypal figures and situations, symbolism and figurative language found in selected folklore and legendary narratives. Comparative studies of two or more traditions are undertaken.

IV.   Learning Objectives

After completing this course, students will be able to

A.    Critically distinguish between mythology and other forms of cultural discourse, such as religion, philosophy or science.

B.    Identify mythological motifs from three or more traditions and explain their connection to the historical, social, religious and ethical context of the particular culture in which the tradition develops.

C.     Identify universal themes which may be seen as common to mythologies of different cultures.

D.    Develop an account of the contributions mythological heritages have made to the self-understandings of cultures in the present, through sayings, stories, moral lessons and folklore. 

E.    Critically discuss and evaluate the philosophical and ethical content of these mythological traditions and their contemporary relevance.

F.    Express respect for different cultures through the exploration of their mythologies.

G.    Exhibit values related to teamwork and collaboration, fostered by the pedagogy of shared-inquiry and critical dialogue appropriate to the humanities and philosophy.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

(This is a sample outline of topics.  In your outline of topics please specify the dates on which you will cover specific topics as well as other important dates, such as exams and paper deadlines. The instructor may decide to take a thematic approach or a survey approach. Below is an example of the survey approach. A thematic approach might, for example, have a section on Myths of Creation, a section on Myths of the Fall, one on Women in Mythology, etc.)

A.    Introduction to Concept of Myth and Theories of Mythological Dissemination
B.    Mythologies of the Middle East and Africa
C.    Ancient Mesopotamian Myth and the Gilgamesh Epic
D.    Ancient Egyptian Myth and the Book of the Dead
E.    Tribal and Islamic Mythologies of Africa
F.    The relation between Mesopotamian and Biblical Mythologies
G.    Mythologies of Ancient and Medieval Europe
H.    The Epics of Greco-Roman Literature
I.    Greco-Roman State, Popular and Hermetic Cults
J.    Myths and Legends of Northern Europe
K.    The Legends of Central European Romances
L.    Mythologies of the Pacific Islands and the Americas
M.    The Polynesian Myths:  The Goddess Hina Cycle
N.    Middles American Myths:  Religions of the Aztecs and Mayans
O.    Native American Myths:  Blackfoot Hunting Cycles
P.    Native America and Europeans:  Chief Seattle and Black Elk
Q.    Mythologies of Asia
R.    The Hindu Epics:  The Ramayana and Mahabharata
S.    Gods and Goddesses of Bhakti Hinduism
T.    Myths of Ancient China and Japan
U.    Myths in the Modern World
V.    Mythology in Hero Literature and Science Fiction
W.    Mythology in Modern Cinema

VII.  Methods of Instruction

A.    Lectures and discussion
B.    Small group work
C.    Films
D.    Student presentations and debates
E.    Guest speakers
F.    Field trips may be required
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

(Please include information here about all expectations you have for your students regarding behavior, work, etc.  The following are sample topics you may wish to cover.  Please be aware that you must require students in this course to produce at least 15 pages of critical written assignments over the course of the semester.  These may be assigned in a variety of ways including journals, response papers, field trip projects, etc.)
A.    Attendance
B.    Standards for written work
C.    Quizzes/Exams
D.    Participation
E.    Essays
F.    Final Project
G.    Special policies about make-up exams, late papers, or other matters of concern

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.


X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

(In this section, please present the percentages or point breakdown of their final grade.  The writing assignments should count for at least 40% of the final grade.  An example follows.)
A.     Quizzes/Exams……40 points
B.     Essays……40 points
C.     Final project with oral presentation……10 points
D.     Attendance and participation………10 points
E.     Grading scale: 90-100, A…….80-89, B………70-79, C……….60-69……..D

XI.   Other Course Information

Instructor information
Office and office hours:
Email and website:

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at