Shannon Bennett, Student
A good story can captivate the hearts and minds of listeners for years. Sometimes, when you have heard a story repeatedly, you can pick up the little embellishments and the differences that occur as a story develops and changes. Family stories are the same way. They captivated us as children, intrigued us as adults, and are information to be proved as genealogists.
The next course I am enrolled in is Demystifying Culture and Folklore. I have to admit that as soon as I saw the title on the course list I knew I wanted to take it. In college I took a folklore class and have been fascinated by mythology from different cultures my whole life. It is one of those odd interests of mine that I love to feed with a good story from time to time.
Judging from the course description, Demystifying Culture and Folklore promises to be a great class. The focus will be on looking at various cultures and how their traditions and folklore shaped the people of today. There will be a module on how a new culture affected immigrants and cultural assimilation. Plus connecting the stories of our ancestors to who we are today.
Of course, you can’t have a class like this without talking about Joseph Campbell. For many people he is the face of modern mythology and folklore research. Lucky for me I have read his series of books “The Mask of God” and “A Hero with a Thousand Faces.” If you are interested in mythos and folklore they should be at the top of your reading list. I will be interested to read what our instructor thinks of him.
I admit that I am intrigued by the assignment teaser given on the introduction page: “students will be encouraged to apply course theory to their own lives and the lives of their forebears in personal application essays.” Oh, I love to write, almost as much as I love to talk, and being able to analyze my family through this lens should produce some amazing results. Or, fingers crossed, I hope it will.
This should be a very interesting class and I am excited to turn the microscope on my family to see what I find. Hope you will join me over the next month as I take this course. It should be a great time!
See you online!