Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

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Unit Overview


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.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

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.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) a research essay; and (3) tutorial participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Kati Tonkin
Unit rules
any Level 1 EURO, ENGL
or HIST unit
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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.