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 is an introduction to the field known as cultural studies. Students are introduced to a range of issues and readings that come from different disciplines but are all involved in a broader attempt to 'read' culture. Most people are familiar with the idea of reading a book or poem and even of reading a film, but this unit considers whether it is legitimate to regard other cultural formations and practices as texts. Students examine how all our cultural practices—from museums to music videos, graffiti to googling, tattoos to television and film, protests to performance—reveal how we 'read' the world and make meaning, how we organise our social and political relationships and how we identify ourselves. The unit interrogates the assumptions and cultural logics through which a range of these cultural texts and sites may be 'read'. It aims to equip students to write and research in cultural studies; to look beyond the conventional and 'common sense' accounts of things; and to form critical views in complex interpretative situations.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate familiarity with key debates in contemporary global cultural studies and participate in them critically; (2) carefully apply selected cultural theories to selected cultural situations; (3) express ideas, information and argument coherently and logically in written and oral forms; (4) work effectively as a member of a collaborative group in a tutorial context; (5) develop enhanced research skills in locating and assessing critical writing in traditional and digital media; (6) have a critical understanding of the role played by ideologies of race, gender and class in literary and cultural contexts; (7) refine and demonstrate highly developed skills of textual analysis and critical reasoning; and (8) 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.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) critical exercise; (2) 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)
Associate Professor Alison Bartlett
Unit rules
any Level 1 ENGL unit
ENGL2218 Reading Texts, Mediating Culture
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hour per week
tutorials: 2 hours 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.