Politics and Literature - 2018

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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sem2
  • Availability for 2018: Sem2
  • Assessment: Analysis Task - Practical Criticism (10%) , Essay 1 (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 809.00
HECS 820.00
International 1,059.00

The relationship between politics and literature is never simple. Writers have always addressed political issues: supporting or resisting revolution, analysing the ethics of war or the sophistries of political language, interrogating ideas of power embedded in gender, class, ethnicity, industrialisation and sexuality. Literary language can make available subversive and powerful critiques of dominant political structures and hierarchies just as it can normalise inequality and stifle dissent. Poets and novelists participate in the dissemination of myths, stereotypes and narratives that privilege certain worldviews over others. Covering writing from the Renaissance to the present this unit addresses a series of political issues as they are constructed in literary texts, and looks at the aesthetic forms writers invent and deploy in order to reflect, produce and contain change.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. critically engage and respond to a wide range of literary texts
  2. develop analytical and research skills that can be applied to past and present cultural and literary debates
  3. communicate historical and theoretical concepts in scholarly written forms
  4. demonstrate a greater understanding of the way in which literary texts and literary language function to produce political critique
  5. achieve a greater understanding of the historical and often hierarchical deployment of concepts of gender, class and ethnicity
  6. engage in informed critical discussion on unit content with peers and tutors, to respond to others' points of views, and to argue a critical position.
  • Analysis Task — Practical Criticism (10%)
  • Essay 1 (30%)
  • Essay 2 (40%)
  • Participation — Online Participation (20%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

This unit addresses the following topics.

2The Poetry of the Monstrous
3The Poetry of Dissent
4Displacement and Survival
5Outsiders and Entitlement
6The Politics of Tyranny
7Revolutionary Poetry
8The Americans
9I Love Dick
10Fictions of Identity and the Politics of Excess
11The Politics of the Fantastic
12Don't Lose Your Head: Game of Thrones

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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