The word mythology conjures up images of demigods, courageous heroes, tales of vengeance, devas, apsaras and so on. But is that all there is to it? What is mythology and how does it shape societies and ways of life? All this and more was discussed during the six-week special Minor Course, ‘A Comparative Study: Itihāsa-Purāṇa, Greek and Sumerian Mythologies’ offered by Assistant Professor Vishaka Venkat, from the School of Linguistics and Literary Studies.
The course attracted around 60 students, and a few faculty members as well. It was an intensive course of 45 hours, spanning around six weeks. It started in July and concluded on 16 August 2020.
Being a basic course, it introduced students to the critical understanding of the Indian, Greek and Sumerian narratives. It analysed how narratives resonate in the daily discourse right from the naming of a location to the rituals that determine one’s routine.
The course concluded with two guest lectures—by Dr. Shilpa Ashok Pandit and Prof. Gauri Mahulikar. Dr. Pandit spoke about the psychological impact of narratives and how myths exhibit instances for personal transformation. Prof. Mahulikar spoke on accounting the transition of narratives from words to symbols. It was a fitting conclusion for the course.