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HONR.3200: Seminar: Special Topics in Honors: The Call to Adventure

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hero's journey chart

Welcome to Special Topics in Honors: The Call to Adventure with Julian Zabalbeascoa

This course then is designed to give students methods to read fiction and watch film more acutely, to hone not only the language with which they communicate their insights concerning the quality, style, content, and execution of a particular piece but to also make more profound the depth of those insights. As well, the study of these works will be the gateway through which we embark on a larger conversation as concerns (hopefully!) our own respective adventures. 

Course Description

The call to adventure marks the beginning of the monomyth, or the hero’s journey, one of the more popular and recognizable narrative arcs, a story structure found across multiple cultures and epochs. But what is it about this particular narrative trope – an individual leaving behind a familiar world to set off into the unknown – that so resonates? Why do writers and filmmakers continue to people their work with these well-known archetypes? What is it that readers and audiences seek when they turn to them? Are there political reasons for the monomyth’s resurgence in popular culture? Who is served by the propagation of this storyline of self-realization and self-actualization and which peoples are relegated to minor, supporting roles?

Through literary theory and critical analysis to literature, film, poetry, music, philosophy, and art we will seek to answer these questions and many more while examining various representations of the call to adventure, all the while further developing critical reading and thinking skills, with an emphasis placed on analysis and academic writing.