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Since Could this site do topic challenges? seems to have some reasonable support, I have created a thread to contain ideas for topic challenges.

In answers, please include your idea for a topic challenge as well as why you think it would be a good challenge.

I propose that there be a topic challenge every month, as on Literature.SE. This will be decided by votes. Points to consider when voting:

  • Is it reasonably easy to find out about? (Is the one relevant source a $70 textbook - in which case perhaps that's not a good challenge?)
  • Is it something you yourself would be interested in answering, asking, and reading about? (A bit of a "well, duh" reason.)
  • Is it something that's not as commonly asked about on this site?
  • Is it something which has a reasonable scope? (Neither too broad nor too narrow.)

The first challenge can be for the month of September.


List of topic challenges (current at the top):

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    I forgot to [featured] this sooner, and August is running out. How about we move this to September? – yannis Aug 24 '17 at 21:47
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    @yannis edited to do so; I'm writing a new post with the first topic challenge. – heather Aug 24 '17 at 23:30
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Sumerian Mythology

I thought it would be cool to focus on Sumerian mythology in general. The reason for doing this is that there is a really cool website, ETCSL (Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature), that contains a fantastic collection of Sumerian mythology/literature. ETCSL lists about twenty stories, and each story is the length of a page, so the reading is very manageable.

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    To complete, you can find the fairly excellent BDTNS (neo-sumerian texts) which presents photographies of the tablets, drawings more often, transliterations and translations. Translations can be rarer but contrary to the ETCL you have the cuneiform. It is part of those projects like the Beowulf tending to give commoners access to the source material (elsewhere we only have translations...) bdts.filol.csic.es. Another one, the Digital Corpus of cuneiform text: oracc.museum.upenn.edu/dcclt cuneiform once again... – Gibet Sep 20 '17 at 19:28
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Slavic Mythology

There isn't really much about Slavic Mythology and the few questions about don't seem to ever get answered. I think it would really benefit the site if we encouraged more research into the world of the pre-christian Slavs. I am very interested in this topic and I think that it would be a great challenge for the site. The interesting thing about this one is that there are some things about it that are easy to find, but others are very hard to find sources on. I think it would help everyone on the site if they set aside time to dig deep into Slavic Myths to find answers to these topics.

Example myths/topics:

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    Do you have any examples of sources that we could read for the topic challenge? – user62 Sep 24 '17 at 20:09
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I would be interested in cross-myth/folklore mythical creatures.

Examples,

  • Why is the structure of a dragon (scaly reptile with wings) common in mythoses that have no relation to each other?
  • Does the trickster entity of Coyote have any relation to the Norse Colonization, with myths about Loki?

(Pretty dumb questions, but stuff along the line of that)

  • I find this interesting as well, but also cannot think of any good questions. Do any of the existing questions come close to what you have in mind? – Ouroboros Sep 14 '17 at 15:05
  • Something like mythology.stackexchange.com/questions/2869/… – bleh Sep 14 '17 at 18:07
  • You might find the study of Folklore interesting/useful. Take a look at the book Folklore Matters by Alan Dundes. – user62 Sep 18 '17 at 16:49
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Eschatology

I think it would be very interesting to explore how different cultures imagined and prepared for the end times. And by that I don't mean just the apocalypticism questions I have been spamming the site with, but questions like the ones in the eschatology tag:

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Folklore Studies

I think that this site would really benefit from learning about concepts such as motif indexes. (Or maybe you know about motifs and motif indexes, but they aren't being used in answers). Here are some questions and answers where I talk about the concepts and explain how powerful they can be:

  1. If there is a preponderance of seductive water nymphs in mythology, then why is that so?

  2. How does one search for patterns/motifs in folklore or mythology?

The field of folklore studies is filled with stuff like this that would be useful anytime the site gets a question about comparing myths, or about oral literature. I think a topic challenge about folklore studies would be conducive for this.

For an introduction to the field, I recommend the book Folklore Matters by Alan Dundes.

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Egyptian mythology

Surprisingly, this site has only 38 questions. Compare with 329 questions and 126 ones.

I think Egyptian mythology is extremely rich, and very interesting. The site can benefit from more questions about it.

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