The Power of Ideas: Ten Great Books

Subject ARTS90004 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours - 2 hour seminar per week, for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

170 Hours


Must be enrolled in a Faculty of Arts Masters Coursework degree.

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:


Assoc Prof Sara Wills



Subject Overview:

Great books teach us how to describe experience, how to evaluate it, and how to imagine its liberating transformation. They deepen our engagement with critical traditions of thought that extend back through time and, by doing this, they enable us to better understand and address key issues facing the world today. Emboldened and impelled by the voices of great thinkers and writers, we gather crucial lessons on leadership, empathy, moral capacity, critical thinking, cultural complexity, social difference, creativity and innovation and arguably the very meaning of being human. Given what we can do in the world today, great books also help us to think about what we should do. This subject provides a critical introduction to ten great works on the basis that answers to the challenges of our era won’t simply come from technical skills, managerial capacity or datasets alone, but from a developed knowledge of the powerful ideas that underpin literature, history and philosophy.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should have:

  • increased their understanding of the key import and legacy of ten great books;
  • developed their comprehension of the context in which they were produced;
  • gained an appreciation of their potential ‘real world’ relevance;
  • enhanced their comprehension, critical thinking and analysis skills;
  • developed their capacity for critical and creative thinking through;
  • been exposed to new perspectives and understandings of human behavior; and
  • developed an appreciation for the power of creative expression and ideas.

1. Online assessment equivalent to 250 words (10%), due weekly.

2. One 1,500-word short essay (20%), due mid semester.

3. One 3,250-word long essay (70%), due end of semester.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Selected readings from the 10 key texts will be available on-line via LMS, and a recommended reading list will be available one month before semester commences.

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 should have:

  • developed critical analysis and creative thinking skills;
  • developed leadership and professional communication skills; and
  • developed ethical practice skills.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Arts and Cultural Management
150 Point Master of Arts and Cultural Management
150 point Master of Marketing Communications
200 Point Master of Arts and Cultural Management
200 point Master of Marketing Communications
EMA 100 point program - full time over 1 year
EMA 150 point program - full time over 1.5 years
EMA 200 point program - full time over 1.5 years
EMA 200 point program - full time over 2 years

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