The Art of the Myth: Bringing Sacred Stories to Life

Discovery Core Experience: VLPA Courses

The Art of Myth: Bringing Sacred Stories to LifeB CORE 120 (VLPA)

60-Second Syllabus: The Art of the Myth: Bringing Sacred Stories to LifeVisual and Literary Arts Icon

About This Course: 

Through an exploration of myths and sacred stories selected from a diverse range of cultures, students will work to parse out universal truths - looking for differences, commonalities, and meaning. Students will work to understand the kinds of stories that have come before us and to then create and communicate their own stories through new myths. Readings, assigned essays, and class discussions will pair with class exercises. 

Why is Mythology Important for First-Year Students?

Storytelling is in our blood. Stories are the context that help us understand information. Myths, on their surface, are about Gods and Goddesses, Heros and Heroines, Monsters and Magic. But, more importantly, they speak to who we are as people, to what we value, and to our place in the world. The study of mythology touches on history, pychology, philosophy, and theatre. They are a fantastic medium for you to experience the interdisciplinary nature of college study.

What Will We Do in the Class?

We'll read myths. We'll talk about myths. And we'll create myths. One of the best parts of the course is the chance to work in small groups to develop a new set of myths that speak to modern concerns. Past final group projects have told these new stories through radio plays, shadow puppet theatre, video re-enactments, choose-your-own-advuenture websites, and story walks through campus.  

Fun Fact:

The Norse God Balder was invincible--except for his Achilles Heel...Mistletoe (which killed him)! Balder was brought back to life and the plant Mistletoe itself was made to promise to not kill again (and to only bring life and happiness). A theory is that this myth is where kissing under the mistletoe sprig comes from. We're tempting fate a little bit with that murderous plant.


Professor Gavin Doyle (He/Him/His)

Headshot of Gavin DoyleAbout Professor Doyle: 

  • JD, Law, Loyola Law School-Los Angeles
  • MFA, Theatre Performance, University of Louisville
  • Certificate in African-American Theatre, Theatre Performance, University of Louisville
  • BA, Biology, Roanoke College
  • BA, Theatre, Roanoke College

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"Myths are the stories we tell ourselves to explain the world, our culture, and our place." -Professor Doyle