The Enlightenment and its Others

Subject 106-214 (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 is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Usually 12.5 points of first year English.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


John Frow
Subject Overview:

This subject explores some of the tensions in the project of the European Enlightenment by examining a series of literary and other texts which articulate its dark side or the areas of life which are not amenable to enlightened reason: slavery, sexuality, sentimentality, madness, revolution, and war. Rather than thinking of the Enlightenment as primarily a philosophical project, it analyses its social embedding in the form of codes of polite conduct and an ideology of the sovereign subject. The texts studied in the subject call this ideology into question in one way or another: by overt subversion, by exposure of contradictions, by exploration of the non-rational, or by an excessive attachment to enlightened norms.

Assessment: A written essay of 1500 words 40% (due mid-semester); a written essay of 2500 words 60% (due at the end of the semester). A hurdle requirement of a 10-minute oral presentation in class by each student is required in order to pass this subject.Note:Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.
Prescribed Texts: Prescribed Texts:A subject reader with additional texts by Kant, Addison and Steele, Mozart and Cook will be available from the University Bookshop.Discourses on Method (Descartes) Robinson Crusoe (Defoe), Norton Sentimental Journey (Sterne), Penguin Classics Rameau's Nephew (Diderot), Penguin Classics Sorrows of Young Werther (Goethe), Penguin Classics Justine (Sade), Grove Press The Interesting Narrative (Equiano), Penguin Classics Reflections on the Revolution in France (Burke), Penguin Classics Mysteries of Udolpho (Radcliffe), Oxford World Classics Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (Recommended Reading: Habermas) The Order of Things (Foucault) Slavery and Social Death (Patterson)
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • acquire skills in research, including the competent use of library, and other (including online) information sources, and the ability to define areas of inquiry and methods of research;

  • acquire skills in critical thinking and analysis, including the ability to question accepted wisdom, shape and strengthen persuasive judgments and arguments, and develop critical self-awareness;

  • acquire skills in theoretical thinking through a productive engagement with relevant methodologies and paradigms in literary studies and the broader humanities;

  • acquire skills in creative thinking through essay writing and tutorial discussion, through the innovative conceptualising of problems and an appreciation of the role of creativity in critical analysis;

  • develop social, ethical and cultural understanding;

  • develop intelligent and effective communication of knowledge and ideas:

  • develop skills in time management and planning related to the successful organisation of workloads, disciplined self-direction and the ability to meet deadlines.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Diploma in Arts (English)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Anthropology and Social Theory)
Graduate Certificate in Arts(English Literary Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Anthropology and Social Theory)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (English Literature)

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