UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

ENGL2209 Utopia, Imagination and Modernity in European Culture

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Not available in 2017UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the English and Cultural Studies major sequence
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Science students
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 2 elective
Content This unit focuses on the ways in which the imagination has played a vital role in the formation and articulation of modern European identities. Students explore the utopian and dystopian modes of literature and thought in European cultural history as critical and constructive forms of imaginative engagement with social and political realities. Students are introduced to theories of critical and instrumental reason, utopian literature, utopian political thought and social engineering, ideology, imagination and social change in the context of European cultural and intellectual history from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century. Themes include the utopian and idealistic elements of civic humanism, social progress and European modernity, as well as the relationship between utopianism and totalitarianism, violence and revolution in European history.

European Studies students are confident and curious and drive challenging discussions about the role of the imagination in driving social and cultural change in Europe.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) analyse key literary, cultural and political texts in the European utopian tradition; (2) understand and compare theoretical perspectives on the political and cultural functions of utopian social thought and literature; (3) assess the significance of utopian thought and speculative literature in the development of European culture and civilisation during the modern period; (4) analyse the role of the speculative imagination in processes of social change; (5) communicate orally and interact constructively and productively in interpersonal (classroom) situations; and (6) apply the principles of ethical research, analytical thinking, clear writing and correct documentation in short assignments and essays.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) assignments; (2) a research essay; and (3) tutorial participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s) Dr Ned Curthoys and Winthrop Professor Bob White
Unit rules
Prerequisites: any Level 1 EURO, ENGL or HIST unit
Incompatibility: EURO2209 Utopia, Imagination and Modernity in European Culture
Contact hours lectures/workshops: 2 hours per week over 10 weeks; tutorials: 1 hour per week over 10 weeks

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.