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Mythic Image AH120: Home

This libguide will cover research strategies for the AH120-H research paper.

SAU subject searches for books of interest to this class

Recommended Books in the SAU library collection

Films on Demand

The AH120 Assignment

Bibliographic sources:

--Given the quantity of incorrect information on the internet, preliminary bibliographies should contain at least 8 sources, with no more than 2 internet sources; additional internet sources may be used later with the professor's pre-approval, and if students submit bibliographies with more than 8 sources from peer-reviewed journal articles, scholarly texts, or other standard research sources (including printed and videoed interviews with artists).

--Be sure to cite all sources (including online sources) for your final paper.

--Wikipedia is not a valid academic source; however, you may choose to send off for the bibliographic sources included at the end of a Wikipedia article.


• Final exam / research paper assignment:
Write a critical investigation of your character's path, and how his / her actions exemplify those of a typical (or atypical) hero, heroine, villain, guide, sidekick, etc. Is the character an archetype? Compare / contrast your chosen character with similar and / or dissimilar examples from legends, mythology, pop culture, literature and / or history to strengthen your analysis (and for this aspect, you may also refer back to Star Wars characters, but they should not be your only source for comparison). Refer back to the class handouts regarding the hero's life pattern: What "path" does your primary character follow? What are the possible deeper meanings of the various elements along that path? How does the path diverge from the standards we've discussed (Campbell's path as detailed by Mary Henderson, the Elements handout, etc.)? Be sure to go into detail with the elements: does the character experience the "belly of the beast," a "threshold guardian," a "sacred grove," etc.? If so, give details describing these events, and if not, what might account for the lack of the standard elements? You'll also want to give a general history of the character, and if the reception of the character changes or evolves over time (as with the fairy tale characters), be sure to include that aspect into your discussion. Support your analysis with quotations from the material (particularly the Henderson readings), and document your sources with parenthetical citations, footnotes or endnotes. This is your opportunity to show off how much you learned this semester, so in the final exam, you want to pull together as many of the readings, topics of class discussion, your notes, images, and films as possible, to demonstrate that you fully understand the course material, and that you also understand how the different storylines relate to each other. o

Papers will be assessed on the thoroughness of research, as well as how well students relate the material back to the reading assignments. Papers should be double-spaced, and as long as necessary to thoroughly discuss the character, but a minimum of 5 pages.

Example Articles from a peer-reviewed journal

MLA International Bibliography

ProQuest Language and Literature

Need something we don't have?

Have you found the perfect article but don't know if we subscribe to it? Here are some steps you can take.

1. We may have access to the journal in another database. Under the Resources tab of the library homepage, you'll find the Periodical Holding List. From here, you can check a comprehensive list of databases in which our journals appear.

2. We can go to other libraries that subscribe to the journal and have them send us a copy. You can find a direct link to the ClioWeb interface here

3. Try searching for the title of the article in Google Scholar. Any research that makes use of taxpayer funding must be eventually released to the public--you might find an openly available copy of your article.

SAU Reference Librarian

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Stella Herzig
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Helpful Handouts

An interesting Article (ILL only)

The greatest American hero: Ego ideals and familial experiences. Authors:Adams, Kenneth A., ---Source:Journal of Psychoanalytic Anthropology, Vol 6(4), Fal, 1983. pp. 345-413.   ISSN:0278-2944

Keywords:psychoanalytic interpretation, superhero in comic books

Abstract: :Contends that the superhero ("the greatest American hero" depicted in comic books and culture during the last 40 yrs), as male ego ideal, represents a reaction formation against the experience of growing up in the American home. The female of the species is characterized as dangerous in the comic book stories, but female terror can be prevented or overcome by the heroic male response. Narcissistic flight from the female is into outer space and abstraction. Dreams of omnipotence (the God-complex) feed this vision. The identity of the superhero alternates between the instinctual and moral poles of behavior; female castrators can be overcome by genitalization-of-the-body. The technology of the stories suggest both identification with an idealized father and an asexual sexuality that overlies male fear and envy of the female genitalia. In these stories, technology is depicted as the way, the truth, and the light while the phallic female is consumed. It is suggested that the promethian quest to become like a god and appropriate the powers of a god is predicated on oral motivation and that the nightmare that haunts the modern world is the relationship of the ego ideal to motherhood and the female. Indices of narcissism and narcissistic element in comic book heros are appended. (68 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012

Subjects:*Literature; *Psychoanalytic InterpretationClassification:Literature & Fine Arts, Population:Human

--Database:PsycINFO

Notes:SAU Library does not subscribe to this title in print

See ILL step-by-step directions on right side of this page.