Italian MA

Myths and Modern Imagination COMPLIT4032

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Myths, folktales, legends, and other folkloric texts that have an enduring appeal are translated, adapted or rewritten, and thus can be said to 'travel' across time, space, cultures and media. The course will study 3-4 such 'travelling texts' alongside various adaptations of them in the form of films, novels, short stories and plays.


20 x 1-hour or 10 x 2-hour sessions over one semester as scheduled in MyCampus.


This is one of the honours options in SMLC and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus

Excluded Courses





Commentary (1000 words) - 30%

Essay (3000 words) - 70%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ investigate the presence of folkloric heritage in modern literature, film, and arts;

■ analyse texts using intertextual and intermedial approaches;

■ work with different theoretical frameworks deriving from structuralism, narratology, postcolonial studies, memory studies, film studies, etc;

■ examine the different socio-historical contexts in which literary and filmic adaptations of ancient tales and myths are produced.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ compare and contrast "original" texts with their adaptations, demonstrating a sound knowledge of some of the specific cultural contexts of the version studied;

■ compare and contrast adaptations of the same text in different geographical and historical settings;

■ analyse texts/films/graphic novels by means of sound use of literary, cultural and film theories covered in the course (e.g. structuralism, narratology, psychoanalysis);

■ describe the complexity of the shifting meanings offered by rewritings/translations/adaptations;

■ analyse how the socio-historical context in which texts are produced can shape interpretation and reception.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.