Poetics of the Body 1

Subject UNIB10011 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Southbank - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Semester 2, Southbank - 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: 3 hours per week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

36 hours per semester

Prerequisites: None
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: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Elizabeth Presa, Mr David Shea


Faculty of the VCA and MCM Student Centre
Ground Floor, Elisabeth Murdoch Building (Bldg 860)
Southbank Campus
234 St Kilda Road, Southbank, 3006

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)
Email: 13MELB@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the intricate links and parallels between the arts, science, philosophy, architecture, nature, cultural traditions, mysticism, medicine (both western and eastern), law, and economics, through understandings of the human body. The VCA campus providing a unique classroom environment for this subject, with a teaching staff of working artists, academics and guest speakers, all experts in their fields. The Poetics of the Body combines lectures and tutorials with workshops/hands-on approaches in formal and more informal creative applications of theoretical knowledge, as well as student-led collaborative projects.
Since the begining of the scientific revolution in the 17th century the investigation of the body has concentrated primarily on discipline-specific fields of study. In an increasing global and collaborative world the need to have a sense and knowledge of the whole, the interconnections between disciplines, their languages and approaches, histories and cultural expressions, is essential to understanding and shaping the 21st century. A central concern in the Poetics is a creative approach to the study of all disciplines and the practical application of this knowledge to global issues.
Undepinning the Poetics of the Body is recognition of the value of interdisciplinarity and the role it plays in understanding critical vocabularies and new areas of research. The focus on the exchange of ideas between students and teachers across the schools and campuses, shapes the range of issues that the human body presents to us, in all the ways that we experience it - intellectually, personally, kineaesthetically and in multi disciplinary forms.

Learning Outcomes:

The Poetics of the Body aims to:

  • Introduce students to historical representations and interpretations of the body;
  • Familiarize students with a range of discipline-specific technical and theoretical terms by bringing them into plain English to facilitate communication;
  • Enrich student’s vocabularies and to explore a range of assumptions within disciplines, eg: the “objectivity” of science verses the “subjectivity” of aesthetic judgement;
  • Provide the ground for new modes of understanding and representation of the body;
  • Integrate practice with theory through aligning studio/laboratory with lecture/tutorial based learning;
  • Contribute to and enrich current debate on the human body;
  • Engage students with culturally diverse practices and customs associated with the body;
  • Intellectual Journal: (30%) the journal will serve as repository for ideas taken from lectures, tutorial/ workshops, readings from the Course Reader, as well as performances, exhibitions and museum visits. Students will map and connect ideas encountered in this subject to their main disciplines. The journal should reflect each students growing intellectual curiosity and capacity to link specific themes to their broader context. Diversity of writing, graphic notation and imaging will be encouraged. The journal is also a place to record the different vocabularies and definitions encountered in lectures.
  • Project: (40%) project to include both theoretical and practical components . Students will select from a menu of projects.
  • Group Presentation: (30%) Students will form small groups to present to the tutorial group some of the key ideas from the weeks reading from the Course Reader.
Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:


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:

At the completion of the Poetics of the Body subject students should be able to:

  • Exhibit a sound working knowledge of the role of the human body across its various discipline specific domains;
  • Demonstrate interpretive abilities across a range of academic disciplines;
  • Confidently communicate, both orally and in writing, opinions, ideas and observations with regard to theory and practice of the body, in group and individual situations;
  • Participate effectively as a team member in interdisciplinary projects with a shared focus;
  • Embody an informed respect for the principles, protocols, discipline and ethics of interdisciplinary scholarship and practice;
  • Demonstrate capacities for scholarly analysis and artistic imagination, creativity, transformation and interpretation;
  • Contribute to a range of disciplines as collaborators and leaders;
  • Contribute in an informed and considered manner to current scientific and ethical debates on the human body.
Links to further information: http://handbook.unimelb.edu.au/breadth/
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Fine Arts (Animation)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Contemporary Music)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Film and Television)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Music Theatre)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Production)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Screenwriting)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre Practice)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art)

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