Earlier this evening, I was browsing the online course offerings for Ohio State University’s Fall Semester, which runs from late August into December.
I had found a couple of courses that looked interesting. One was about the medicine of ancient Greece and Rome.
Another class I considered was about “translating” cultures. The professor offering it had mentioned it to us when he was a guest speaker in my Intro to Classics class, which I took a couple of summers ago. Both the subject matter of the class and its teacher looked good to me.
But then, in the English department’s online offerings, I found a folklore class on legends being offered by Professor Merrill Kaplan. I’ve taken a course with her before, on the Icelandic sagas. She’s a great teacher. 🙂
The description of this folklore class looks intriguing:
LEGEND has classically been defined as a genre of prose narrative, an objectively false story told by people who ignorantly believe it is true. Almost everything about this definition is wrong. This course explores legend, rumor, superstition, and folk belief in places and times from 19th-century Scandinavia to the 21st-century Internet. We’ll get to know the structure and subject matter of legend, the relationship between legend, belief, and personal experience, and the nature of legend as contested truth. We’ll learn about the history of the collection of legends and become acquainted with the work of major scholars. By the end of the course, students will understand some of the difficulties posed by attempts to define legend as a genre and have learned strategies for interpreting legend and rumor as meaningful expression.
Another student I know says Professor Kaplan’s folklore classes are not to be missed.
I hope that there will still be available seats in the class by August 5th, which is the first date I can register for Fall Semester as a Program 60 student,
The downside to Program 60 is that we aren’t permitted to enroll in classes until everyone else has, and that causes us to sometimes get closed out of popular courses.
I’ll keep my fingers crossed until August 5th! 🙂