Places of Enlightenment

Subject MULT90017 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - 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: Total 24 hours (2 hours per week)
Total Time Commitment: Total 120 hours
Prerequisites: Admission to the Executive Master of Arts
Corequisites: none
Recommended Background Knowledge: none
Non Allowed Subjects: none
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Subject Overview: The European Enlightenment, or Age of Reason, is conventionally situated as an eighteenth-century phenomenon. The great philosophers of Enlightenment are usually understood as breaking with the irrational superstitions of the past, including illusory political and religious beliefs that are seen to have enslaved humankind. Such beliefs are malignant shadows that are to be banished by the universal light of reason. This subject will investigate the Enlightenment through a range of locations which functioned as social or cultural places of Enlightenment. Concentrating on description and analysis rather than definition, we will examine such topics as the Island, the Stock Market, the Coffee House, the Club, the Salon, the Brothel, the Penitentiary, the Academy, the Museum, the Contract, the Opera, the Country House, the Garden, the Portrait and the Tour, in order to discover lived moments of Enlightenment culture as well as the analytical and ideological dimensions of Enlightenment thought. This subject will encompass interdisciplinary approaches from philosophy, anthropology, history and textual studies, and will consider objects and case studies such as novels, tracts, paintings, buildings, fine arts, as well as political and economic institutions. Its geopolitical focus will be on Europe (especially Britain, France and Germany) and the exotic or colonial locations (such as China, the Americas and the Caribbean) with which Europe engaged in the trade of goods and ideas. Temporally, the subject will be framed by Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719, and Immanuel Kant's speculation "What is Enlightenment?" of 1784.
Objectives: Consistent with the overarching objectives of the EMA, students who complete this subject will:
  • Have an understanding of the main philosophical doctrines and social locations of Enlightenment culture.
  • Understand the consequences of Enlightenment thought and practices for modern European and non-European societies.
  • Understand the principles and practices of interdisciplinary study.
Assessment: A 1000-word essay plan (20%) due during the semester and a 4000-word essay (80%) due at the end of semester.
Prescribed Texts:

Robinson Crusoe (1719), Daniel Defoe

The Great Mirror of Folly (1720), Addison

'The Royal Exchange' (Spectator 69, 1711)

Portraits by Reynolds, Gainsborough, Fragonard, Robert, Chardin

Fanny Hill (1748), John Cleland

Extracts from the Encyclop├ędie (c. 1751-)

Carceri d'Invenzione (1760), Giovanni Battista Piranesi

The Social Contract (1762), Jean-Jacques Rousseau

A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy (1768), Laurence Sterne

'Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?' (1784), Immanuel Kant

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Students who complete this subject will:
  • Be able to apply new research skills and critical methods to a field of enquiry.
  • Have developed critical self-awareness and ability to shape persuasive arguments.
  • Be able to communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and oral presentation to groups.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 200 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 24 months

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