Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit engages students with significant American texts from key historical periods. The texts include a variety of genres—novels, poetry, film and theatre. The unit proposes that America is a society of transformation in terms of literary form, cultural mythology and historical events. The literary texts that are studied in the unit both document and stimulate the cultural transformations of their historical contexts, and of later times. They also extend the possibilities of literary expression in a way that had not been anticipated prior to their publication. The texts on the unit are thus politically active and also vital in a literary sense. Through the study of these texts, students develop their sense of literary and political possibility.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate familiarity with a number of canonical American texts as vehicles for the exploration of ideas of justice and equity; (2) utilise a grasp of historical contexts in order to establish the social issues that are represented in the texts; (3) recognise that the form of the text has implications for the ideologies which are questioned or represented in the texts; (4) express ideas, information and argument coherently and logically in written and oral forms; (5) work effectively as a member of a collaborative group in a tutorial context; (6) enhance research skills in locating and assessing critical writing in traditional and digital media; (7) have a critical understanding of the role played by ideologies of race, gender and class in literary and cultural contexts; (8) refine and demonstrate highly developed skills of textual analysis and critical reasoning; (9) have an historicised understanding of fundamental critical concepts that allow them to recognise and discuss the relationship between the formal, thematic and functional aspects of any text studied; and (10) further develop and practise enquiry-based learning and research and communication acquired at Level 2 into Level 3 units in English and Cultural Studies, with applications across a broader field of study at UWA.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation; (2) textual exercise; and (3) research essay. 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)
Professor Brenda Walker and Associate Professor Tanya Dalziell
Unit rules
any Level 1 ENGL unit
ENGL2205 Crime and Violence in American Literature
Contact hours
3 hours per teaching week
  • 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.