Myth and Narrative

This course approaches pre-modern myth and narrative literature of India, especially the great epics (the Mahābhārata and Ramāyaṇa) and mythologies (the Purāṇas). Particular focus is given to the rich mythologies of Śiva, Kṛṣṇa, and the Goddess. Through stories of gods, devotees, villains, and heroes, the course shall explore the development of significant themes in the South Asian tradition, from ethics and philosophy to asceticism and devotion. An important theme of the course is the enduring cultural significance of myth and the epics, as retold through the ages in a variety of languages, cultural contexts, and media, including classical and vernacular texts, the oral tradition, drama, dance, and cinema.