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2012 HSA304 Politics in Literature and Film

Unit Level: Advanced

Available as a Student Elective: Yes

View timetable of lectures only for this unit.  View ALL timetable events for this unit.

See also   HSA204


Unit Sem 1 Sem 2 Full Yr Spring Summer Winter
HSA304 H

Key Semester Dates
Semester Campus Attendance Note Start Date Census Date Final WW Date* End Date
Sem 1 H Distance 27-FEB-2012 23-MAR-2012 16-APR-2012 01-JUN-2012
Sem 1 H On Campus 27-FEB-2012 23-MAR-2012 16-APR-2012 01-JUN-2012
Sem 1 I Distance 27-FEB-2012 23-MAR-2012 16-APR-2012 01-JUN-2012
Sem 1 L Distance 27-FEB-2012 23-MAR-2012 16-APR-2012 01-JUN-2012
Sem 1 N Distance 27-FEB-2012 23-MAR-2012 16-APR-2012 01-JUN-2012
Sem 1 W Distance 27-FEB-2012 23-MAR-2012 16-APR-2012 01-JUN-2012

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see Withdrawal dates explained for more information).

This unit can be taken in other courses
About Census Dates

A dominant understanding in the teaching of politics contends that political understanding is reducible to scientific method. By contrast, this unit seeks to examine politics as an art and, more precisely, the way that particular idioms of discourse have constituted that art. In order to explore this understanding we shall initially examine how the political can be read through various texts of literature and satire, and visual texts such as film and television and, indeed, how political meaning is constituted through these media. In this context we will consider the work of Marshall McLuhan and Richard Rorty.

The second part of the unit considers the manner in which satire, the novel, nonfiction literature and visual text, inform and constitute contemporary political understandings and explore the psychological dimension. Here we shall examine themes such as: control by the state in George Orwell's 1984 (film and book); politics and resources in Agnes Varda's The Gleaners and I; public policy issues and the "nanny state" in the film Leaving Las Vegas; the individual's motivation to spy in the book Operation Cicero by Moyzisch and the film Five Fingers; political assassination, the case of Reinhardt Heydrich; hostage protection, Chiune Sugihara; cult leadership, the case of Jonestown; and resistance and regime change, Joachim Fest's Plotting Hitler's Death, and Oliver Hirschbiegel's Downfall. We shall conclude with an understanding of the way in which literature and film examine the individual, society and the state. Other versions of 1984 and alternative films and visual texts may be substituted by agreement, and a list of suggestions is available.

WEIGHT: 12.5%


200 level: 2,000-word essay (40%), tutorial assessment (5%), 1,000 word minor essay (5%), 2-hr end-of-sem exam (50%)

300 level: 2,500-word essay (40%), tutorial assessment (5%), 1,000 word minor essay (5%), 2-hr end-of-sem exam (50%)

TEACHING PATTERN: Int: 2-hr lecture weekly, 1 tutorial fortnightly;
Dist. Ed: web-based delivery of 13 lectures, 1 online tutorial discussion fortnightly

Note: Class attendance may still be required

   Web supported - H
Online access to some part of this unit online is optional
   Fully online - I,N,L,W
This unit is taught entirely online
   Resource supported teaching & learning - I,N,L,W,H
Additional resources are provided for your optional use; e.g. audio taped lectures
About Flexible Study Options

Prereq 2 Introductory HSG units
M.Excl HAC244/344, FST257/357

Launceston Co-op Bookshop Website - Semester (Sem 1)
Hobart Co-op Bookshop Website - Semester (Sem 1)

STAFF: Dr WW Bostock

View fees for this unit


Units are offered in attending mode unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered by distance, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered to both attending students and by distance from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

Campus - H Hobart, L Launceston, W Burnie. Study Centre - V Sydney, R Rozelle, P Beauty Point. Distance units may also have a campus identifier of I Isolated, N Interstate, O Overseas. Units delivered in Transnational Education (TNE) Programs have a campus identifier of A Hangzhou, F Fuzhou, G Shanghai, K KDU Malaysia, Q Kuwait or Y Hong Kong.

Special approval is required for enrolment into TNE Program units - campuses A, F, G, K, Q and Y click here for more information.

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