On Tuesday, September 13, our unit on Perseus & Medusa begins with a look at some ancient sources on Perseus, as well as some readings about engaged viewing. Please do the following — which looks like a lot in list form, but ought to be manageable:
(1) Read the article on Perseus in the Oxford Guide to Classical Mythology in the Arts. Note that the article has three parts: a general section on Perseus; a section on Perseus and Medusa; and a section on Perseus and Andromeda. Each of these is followed by an annotated list of relevant visual and literary works. Don't sweat the details of these lists, but do peruse them and see if you can identify any trends.
(2) Watch the podcast on the Roman poet Ovid for context on item (3).
(3) Read Ovid's account of the Perseus story from books 4 and 5 of his epic poem, Metamorphoses. As is typical of his poem, Ovid begins in the middle of things, starting with the god Bacchus, but soon making his way to Perseus' grandfather, Acrisius. If the Oxford Guide offers a straightforward account of Perseus' story, what do you make of Ovid's less-than-straightforward version?
(4) Read Looking at Movies Chapter 1 ("Looking at Movies"), pp. 1–22. Optional: If you're enjoying yourself, keep going with the analyses of the Harry Potter films, pp. 22–31. Here's your chance to think about principles of engaged viewing in advance of our first film.
(5) Read the excerpts from Jon Solomon's 2007 essay, "Viewing Troy: Authenticity, Criticism, Interpretation." We'll revisit this piece in full later in the semester, but for now, try to take to heart what Solomon says about ways NOT to watch movies, and the banal critiques that less-than-engaged viewers often level at films.
NOTE: If you choose not to print the PDFs of our readings, but rather to bring them on your laptop or another device, then you'll need to sign an agreement form. I'll bring a stack of them to next class.
Please let me know if you have any questions.