HIST2202 Civilisation and Barbarism in European Culture

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 2 elective
This Level 2 unit in the history of ideas explores the development of 'civilisation' and 'barbarism' in European culture and thought since the Renaissance. Topics focus on critical and self-reflexive accounts of European civilisation, including the Renaissance discovery of otherness; the Enlightenment ideal of the 'noble savage'; post-Enlightenment critiques of civilisation; twentieth-century narratives of 'civilised violence' and civilisational decay; and contemporary reflections on the state of 'Europe' as a civilisational project. Students are introduced to theories of the dialectic of civilisation and barbarism and the civilising process. Literary and theoretical texts drawn from the European tradition are studied in sociohistorical context in order to arrive at a critical understanding of the development of European civilisational values.
Students are able to (1) analyse a range of significant literary and theoretical works that engage with ideas of civilisation and barbarism; (2) demonstrate understanding of the development of European concepts of civilisation, civility and civil society and their opposites, 'nature' and 'barbarism'; (3) apply the principles of ethical research, analytical thinking, clear writing and correct documentation in written assignments; and (4) communicate orally and interact constructively and productively in interpersonal (classroom) situations.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) critical analysis; (2) 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 Kati Tonkin
Unit rules
EURO2201 Civilisation and Barbarism in European Cultural History
Contact hours
Seminar: 1 x 90-minute seminar for 10 weeks; online modules: approx. 1 x 60 minutes per week for 10 weeks. No lectures.
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]

William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Sigmund Freud, Civilisation and its Discontents

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground

Thomas Mann, Death in Venice And Seven Other Stories

  • 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 via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.