Backgrounds to English Literature

Subject ENGL30003 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 102-hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

670-317 Backgrounds to English Literature

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements 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:


Dr Clare Rhoden

Subject Overview:

This subject explores a range of literature across 4000 years by examining ancient, classical, Christian and canonical texts to identify how they have influenced Western literature and culture. Students who complete this subject successfully will have read a representative range of classical and canonical literature (including epic, mythology, adventure, elegy, pastoral, and irony), will have studied some ancient Assyrian texts and books of the Bible, will have been introduced to various shools of interpretation, and will have investigated the many ways in which classical and biblical writings have influenced western thought, culture and literature across the centuries.


On completion of the subject students should have:

  • read a representative range of classical and canonical literary texts (including epic, mythology, adventure, elegy, pastoral, and irony);
  • studied ancient texts and several books of the Bible;
  • investigated the the influence/s of ancient, classical and Biblcal writings on Western thought and literature of the past two millennia;
  • been introduced to major literary terms and theories.

One 1500 word essay (35%) due mid-semester and one 2500 word essay (60%) due in the examination period. There will be two in-class assessment tasks to be compelted in tutorials (totalling 5%) done during the semester. This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available online and for print on-demand.

  • Metamorphoses Ovid, Penguin
  • Aeneid Virgil, Oxford
  • Myths from Mesopotamia ed. Stephanie Dally Oxford World's Classics
  • The Iliad Homer Oxford or Penguin
Breadth Options:

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

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 will:

  • have the ability to develop critical self-awareness and the capacity to shape persuasive arguments;

  • have the ability to apply research skills (especially in library and online resources) and critical methods to an emerging field of inquiry;

  • have the ability to communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and in group discussions;

  • have made detailed readings of a range of texts in different media;

  • have the ability to think critically about the relations between academic and popular forms of knowledge of the past.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Studies Major
English Literary Studies Major
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies
European Studies

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