Environment and Story

Subject ENST10001 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1.5-hour seminars per week.
Total Time Commitment:

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


Admission to the BA (Extended)



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

100-008 Environment and Story

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: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Rebecca Garcia-Lucas


Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to the skills of interdisciplinary thinking, writing and reading, and brings together knowledge and perspectives from different disciplines for discussing complex social and environmental challenges. Drawing from disciplines such as literature, cultural studies, media studies, philosophy and environmental studies, the relationship between humans and the natural environment will be explored. The subject will consider the role of stories as a cultural medium for storing and communicating the knowledge and values of a society. We will raise questions such as: What is a natural environment or 'nature'? How do humans relate to nature? How do we socially and ethically position animals, plants or landforms? How is nature represented in our major stories and cultural narratives? Is society listening to the stories of the land? Study will involve the analysis of a diversity of texts, including literature, art, critical academic writing and popular culture (advertising and film). The subject involves a combination of academic learning and experiential learning, whereby lectures and tutorials are further developed through a small number of fieldtrips.


On completion of the subject students should have:

  • a knowledge and understanding of historical and contemporary cultural perceptions of nature, and how these perceptions may be constructed, deconstructed, questioned, challenged and subverted;
  • an understanding of key concepts and topics employed by the environmental humanities;
  • explored ideas for restoring and developing human connection with the environment;
  • recognised the roles of connection to place, storytelling and environmental philosophy, in environmental ethics;
  • learnt to value learning and knowledge through a plurality of methods and experiences.

One essay of 800 words due early in semester (20%), one research essay of 1500 words due in the examination period (50%), fieldtrip participation and report done during semester (20%), attendance and participation (10%). Participation will include submission of a weekly written paragraph which will not be graded but will be returned with comments. This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of assessment must be completed to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will develop skills in the following areas:

  • critical and creative thinking, based on an understanding of the connections between story, knowledge, environmental ethics and place;
  • cral communication;
  • collaborative and individual learning;
  • research essay writing;
  • interdisciplinary thinking.

This subject is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (Extended) program.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Extended)

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