Modern Uses of Classical Mythology - CLAS5002

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Dunstan Lowe checkmark-circle


This module is intended to explore and reflect on the nature of responses to Classical mythology since its first appearance and particularly in the modern world. Scholarship on approaches to mythology, as well as reception studies theory (i.e. the critical framework through which modern responses to and understanding of Classical mythology can be interpreted), will inform the analysis of responses to myth in both its ancient and modern setting. A selection of case studies will enable the exploration of a range of cultural responses to Classical mythology and may include appropriations of myths across a range of media. These responses may include the Roman response to Greece to give a point of comparison for modern responses to ancient myth. The function of the myth in its new context will be a thematic focus in the module. During the module students will participate in a formative group project, designing their own adaptation of Classical myth with the intended purpose of public engagement. The module will reinforce awareness of both the polysemic nature of mythology as well as the relevance of Classics in the modern world.


Contact hours

Contact Hours: 20
Private Study: 130
Total Study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Essay (2,500 words) – 60%
Written Assignment (1,500 words) – 40%

Reassessment methods:
Reassessment Essay (3,000 words) – 100%

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

Csapo, Eric, (2005). Theories of Mythology. Malden, Ma., Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
Davidson-Reid, Jane. (1993). Oxford Guide to Classical Mythology in the Arts 1300-1990s. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Griffin, J., (1986). The Mirror of Myth: classical themes & variations. London: Faber & Faber.
Hardwick, L. and C. Stray, eds. (2007). A Companion to Classical Receptions. Malden, Ma., Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
Moog-Grünewald, M. ed. (2010). The Reception of Myth and Mythology. Leiden: Brill

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a knowledge and critical understanding of responses to Classical mythology;
2. Demonstrate the ability to reflect on mythology's role in public engagement with Classics;
3. Employ academic skills fundamental to their future learning, including the evaluation of the functions of myth and the evaluation of modern scholarship;
4. Demonstrate critical understanding of the nature of appropriations of myth and the challenges involved in the analysis of such appropriations;
5. Show an ability to think critically and communicate effectively about mythology and its reception.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry through guided discussion and independent study within a structured and managed environment;
2. Select, gather and synthesise relevant information to gain an understanding, be involved in problem-solving, and reach conclusions independently;
3. Extract key elements from complex data, select appropriate methodologies and show awareness of the consequences of the unavailability of evidence;
4. Marshal arguments lucidly and communicate ideas using the appropriate academic conventions;
5. Show an ability to take responsibility for their own learning, and use of IT resources;
6. Recognise that debates often arise in academic scholarship and take an individual standpoint.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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