Skip to main content


MCH2035 : Media, Mythology and Storytelling: How to analyse archetypes and ideologies in media texts (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Darren Kelsey
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module will teach students theories of mythology and ideology as ways of critiquing and understanding the archetypal conventions of storytelling in media texts. Drawing on journalistic and film texts, this module aims to familiarise students with the forms and conventions of storytelling that are significant to the societies in which they are produced and consumed.
The analytical skills that students develop on this module will enable them to critically reflect on their own media practice whilst developing a critical eye for other mythological and ideological constructs and contexts.

By adopting Kelsey’s (2015) discourse-mythological approach (DMA) students will learn to understand and apply the key concepts and analytical toolkits of this framework. Students will advance their theoretical understanding of discourse, language and semiotics through multi-modal forms of analysis and critical thinking.

Students will demonstrate their own understanding of mythology, archetypes and storytelling through the reading material covered on the course and their own independent research beyond the core readings. Students will also provide their own case study projects where they adopt analytical approaches from the module to analyse the mythological and archetypal conventions in a text of their choice.

Students will understand how the ideological mechanisms of discursive components and other archetypal conventions construct mythologies that have become engrained in societies across different historical contexts. Students will also develop knowledge on how myths and ideologies develop over time and how they are adapted to serve cultural and political changes in society. Students will learn how myths reflect social norms, values and ideals whilst also understanding how myths cause, reinforce or replicate social conflicts in relation to class, economics, gender, race, religion, war, politics and propaganda.

Students will learn to critique these conventions from social, discursive, cognitive and psychoanalytical perspectives that have informed historical and contemporary research on the cultural role of mythological and archetypal storytelling.

Students will identify the significant contexts around media texts, in terms of their political economy and ideological agendas that impact upon the production of fiction and no-fiction texts. But students will also understand the complexities of different context models that enable us to understand the contextual nuances of construction, consumption and interpretation – from perspectives as both audience members and producers of media texts.

This module aims to provide students with theoretical and practical toolkits through critical thinking and textual analysis that students will continue to use within and beyond their studies. The course will enable students to critically reflect on their own media practice as well as the work produced by other practitioners.

Outline Of Syllabus

12 Lectures: 1 introductory (theory) class. 5 journalism analysis; 5 film analysis; 1 revision class.

Terrorism, War and archetypal storytelling.
Concepts of morality, justice and mythology in storytelling.
Semiotics of Orientalism and ideological contexts of storytelling.
Ideological battlegrounds of memory and mythology.
Psychoanalytical approaches to mythology and archetypes.
The hero’s journey in political discourse.
Propaganda and mythology.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:0080:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study154:0054:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce literature and concepts on mythology and archetypal conventions of storytelling. Case studies presented in lectures through research-informed teaching will enhance knowledge of literature and contextual frameworks of ideology.

Research-informed teaching will adopt Kelsey’s discourse-mythological approach and its application in order to provide students with the necessary toolkits for analysing myth and ideology, which they will adopt and build upon through their independent study and assessments.

Lectures (case studies) analysing political economy will explore contextual nuances of mythology through the production values and agendas of media practice. Historical contexts to examples covered in lectures and workshops will advance student knowledge of the diachronic and synchronic dimensions to mythological storytelling.

By adopting approaches from lectures and readings, students will demonstrate their ability to critically analyse mythological storytelling techniques in media texts through workshops, presentations and independent study. The teaching methods that inform these activities will encourage students to adopt multi-modal analytical toolkits for analysing discursive constructions of mythology. These skills will enable students to identify archetypal conventions of fiction and non-fiction texts. Students will develop the reflective skills necessary for understanding mythology in social and historical contexts by appreciating its significance regarding power, society and culture.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation201M10Workshop Group Exercise
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M30Discussion of literature on mythology and ideology (1500 words)
Case study1A50Independent research and critical analysis (2500 words)
Prof skill assessmnt1M10Attendance and participation in classes marked according to student engagement
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The short essay will provide students with an opportunity to discuss key concepts and literature in relation to the mythological and ideological conventions of storytelling within and beyond media contexts. This will cover the introductory material of the module and provide students with an opportunity to start researching literature that might inform or supplement their case study in relation to specific archetypes. The case study will then provide students with the opportunity to produce their own critical analysis of mythology in a text of their choice. The texts might be journalistic or film/TV based. The case study will be an opportunity for students to show that they can identify the archetypal conventions of storytelling and critically reflect on the ideological significance of media mythology. These assignments will demonstrate that students have developed the ability to critique their own media practice in future professions and industry contexts. The presentation task will develop students’ preparation, facilitation and communication skills by requiring them to research and prepare a seminar paper on a theoretically informed discussion that is relevant to an allocated component on the module. The contribution, participation and engagement assessment will encourage and respond to student attendance; this is not measured exclusively by the register but through evidence of participation and engagement in seminars, which will be monitored on a weekly basis.

Reading Lists