From Homer to Hollywood

Subject 100-184 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour tutorial, plus screenings.
Total Time Commitment: 36 contact hours per semester; 30 hours of class preparation and reading per semester; 30 hours of assessment-related tasks per semester; 96 hours total time commitment per semester; 8 hours total time commitment per week
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: This is an Arts Faculty Interdisciplinary Foundation subject. BA students are required to complete two of these subjects during first year.


Prof Anne Freadman & Dr Grace Moore
Subject Overview:

This subject will explore the representation of war across different cultures and a range of genres of writing, film and art. Beginning with texts from ancient Greece and Rome, we will move through a number of periods of European and non-European history to ask questions about how narrative is built around conflict. We will consider how words and images construct stories, thinking about how depictions of war engage with the epic classical tradition.

In addition to examining representations of battles and reactions from those on the front, we will consider the role of ‘home' in narratives of war, both as a place to be defended and as a site of nostalgic yearning, paying particular attention to the cultural construction of gender. By juxtaposing the domestic with the battlefield we will address the roles of those who are left behind, along with the challenges involved in representing the horrors of war.

Subject Objectives

Students who complete this subject should:

  • have an enlarged understanding of the way war and other forms of social conflict are represented in a range of different societies;
  • have learnt to analyse the conditions of representation in different genres;
  • have a critical understanding of the way gender roles are constructed in different cultures and different genres;
  • have a basic understanding of narrative theory;
  • understand the different expressive possibilities of verbal and visual texts, and of multimedia texts such as film.

Assessment: 1. A reading/viewing journal (25 %) to be submitted twice in the semester. Students will be provided with detailed guidance to direct their preparation of this journal.2. One essay of 1200 words (25%) due mid semester;3. A two-hour examination (50%) in the examination period.Students must attend a minimum of nine tutorials, demonstrate familiarity with online resources, and participate in the Faculty of Arts online learning community in order to qualify to have their written work assessed.
Prescribed Texts: Anon, Chanson de RolandBertolt Brecht, Mother CourageAmin Maalouf, Ports of CallWilliam Shakespeare, Henry VLeo Tolstoy, War and PeaceA subject reader containing other primary and secondary materials will be available from the University bookshop and readings will be available online through the LMS. There will also be regular screenings, details of which will be provided at the beginning of the course.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

  • Bachelor of Biomedicine
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Environments
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Engineering

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Students who complete this subject should:
  • understand a range of disciplines and methodologies appropriate to the texts, artefacts, theoretical structures and social practices with which they are concerned;
  • have developed a capacity for critical thought and analysis through the construction and articulation of lucid, logical arguments;
  • have developed oral and written skills through essay writing and tutorial participation;
  • have acquired the tools for independent and targeted research, using library and other information services;
  • have the ability to organise and manage their time through the planning of class assessments and the meeting of set due dates.
Notes: This is an Arts Faculty Interdisciplinary Foundation subject. BA students are required to complete two of these subjects during first year.

Download PDF version.