ENGL 2107 - Tragedy

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

Students will undertake a critical exploration of the theories and practices of tragedy from classical times to the present. Areas of investigation include but are not limited to: the history of tragedy and changing notions of the tragic; the formal qualities of tragedy; kinds of tragedy; the `death of tragedy; tragedy and discourses of the mind and body. Texts will be selected from the following list: Sophocles' Oedipus, Marlowe's 1Tamburlaine; Shakespeare's Hamlet; Goethe's Faust Part 1; Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children; Anouilh's Antigone; Miller's Death of a Salesman; Vickers' Where Three Roads Meet. Selected extracts from theoretical texts and additional materials will encourage students to explore tragedy in practices and theories (and countries and artistic movements) beyond those represented by the set texts.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENGL 2107
    Course Tragedy
    Coordinating Unit English and Creative Writing
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 undergraduate study
    Quota 100
    Course Description Students will undertake a critical exploration of the theories and practices of tragedy from classical times to the present. Areas of investigation include but are not limited to: the history of tragedy and changing notions of the tragic; the formal qualities of tragedy; kinds of tragedy; the `death of tragedy; tragedy and discourses of the mind and body. Texts will be selected from the following list: Sophocles' Oedipus, Marlowe's 1Tamburlaine; Shakespeare's Hamlet; Goethe's Faust Part 1; Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children; Anouilh's Antigone; Miller's Death of a Salesman; Vickers' Where Three Roads Meet. Selected extracts from theoretical texts and additional materials will encourage students to explore tragedy in practices and theories (and countries and artistic movements) beyond those represented by the set texts.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Lucy Potter

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Read and interpret a selection of creative and theoretical texts central to the discourse of Tragedy
    2. Understand the major theoretical and critical movements as they apply to Tragedy
    3. Explain the interdisciplinary nature of the discourse of Tragedy
    4. Evaluate the selected texts within their historical contexts
    5. Undertake the formative stages of research, including an annotated bibliography and a brief survey of the critical literature
    6. Present persuasive and sustained written arguments based on research
    7. Contribute to group-based activities and work as a member of a team in the preparation and delivery of a seminar presentation
    8. Generate questions for discussion based on research
    9. Use technologies relevant to the preparation and completion of assessment tasks
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2, 3
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 4, 5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5, 6, 7
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 9
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 6, 8
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Primary texts:

    Plays

    Anouilh, Jean. Antigone. Trans. Lewis Galantiere. Publication details TBA
    Brecht, Bertolt. Mother Courage and her Children. Trans. John Willett (Penguin Classics, 2007).
    Marlowe, Christopher. Tamburlaine the Great Part 1. In The Complete Plays of Christopher Marlowe. Ed. Frank Romney and Robert Lindsay (Penguin Classics, 2003).
    Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman (Penguin Plays, 1976).
    Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Ed. Bate and Rasmussen (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2008). The Royal Shakespeare Company edition.
    Sophocles. Oedipus the King. In The Three Theban Plays, Antigone, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus. Trans. Robert Fagles (Penguin Classics, 1984).

    Sequencing: Sophocles, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Brecht, Anouilh, Miller

    Sequencing may be modified to take into account the availability of the set texts.

    Students may use other editions of all the set plays if they wish. 

    Other set texts

    Aristotle. The Poetics. Trans. Malcolm Heath (Penguin Classics, 1996). Students may use another edition if they wish.
    Eagleton, Terry. Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003).

    Reader

    A Reader containing critical readings will be available for purchase from the Image and Copy Centre before the semester commences. Readings will also be available online via MyUni.

    Please note: a number of the articles that will be included in the Reader are challenging. If you find them difficult to understand when you first read them, don’t worry. Read them again later and discuss them with other students and your tutor. It’s good to be challenged; it makes your brain bigger, and keeps it fit and strong.
    Recommended Resources
    Barr Smith Library resources: TBA
    Eagleton, Terry. Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003).
    Online Learning
    Recorded lectures will be made available to all students. Some lectures may be prerecorded using either Articulate Storyline software or Power Point functionality and made available to students.

    The MyUni discussion board and/or blog will be used.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Problem solving seminars will investigate questions and key terms generated by students based on the set texts and additional readings. Seminars will be further student driven by group presentations and by peer discussion and review of assessment tasks. The generation of annotated bibliographies and other shared resources and knowledge will develop academic literacies and research skills, and will be posted online.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.


    1 x .5 hour online discussion and posting (x 12) 6 hours
    1 x 1 hour lecture per week (x 12) 12 hours
    1 x 2 hour seminar per week (x 12) 24 hours
    1 x 3.5 hours reading (x 12) 42 hours
    1 x 3 hours research per week (x 12) 36 hours
    1 x 3 hours assignment preparation each week (x 12) 36 hours
      Total = 156 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lectures are designed to introduce students to some of the ‘big ticket’ questions of / theoretical approaches to tragedy. Hence, there are few lectures on the set plays per se. Students’ knowledge of the plays will be augmented by the secondary material available in the course Reader, and by group seminar presentations.  
     Provisional Lecture Timetable
    Week Lecture
    Week 1 Introduction
    Week 2 Mimesis
    Week 3 Aristotle’s Poetics and Sophocles’ Oedipus
    Week 4 Catharsis
    Week 5 Socrates and Tragedy
    Week 6 1 Tamburlaine and Sidney’s Apology
    Week 7 Hamlet: the Failure of Tragedy
    Week 8 The German Tradition
    Week 9 The Death of Tragedy
    Week 10 Nietzsche and the (re) Birth of Tragedy
    Week 11 René Girard: Tragedy and Mimetic Violence
    Week 12 Tragic Renewal
    Specific Course Requirements
    Not applicable
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small group discovery experiences will occur in the seminars in weeks 2, 3, 10, and 12 around questions of defining tragedy over time, the cultural and political rioles it plays, and the generation of research questions.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type  Due Value Learning Outcomes
    1. Participation, including active engagement in seminars and online posting of materials related to assessment tasksAnnotated bibliography Formative and Summative Ongoing 10% 1, 2, 3, 4
    2. Group research presentation Formative and Summative To be scheduled during seminars 20%; 1000 words 3, 4, 7, 8, 9
    3. Research essay/project #1 Formative and Summative End of week 6 30%; 1200-1500 words 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    4. Research essay/project #2 Summative End of week 12 40%; 2000-2500 words 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students are expected to have read the set plays and Aristotle's Poetics before lectures begin. A timetable of weekly activities (readings, seminar activities, assessment due dates etc) will be made available on MyUni in the Course Information folder.

    Seminars
    : There will be no seminars in week 1 or week 11. In weeks 3, 4, 10, and 12 the course coordinator will engage with students in small group discovery experiences around set questions/tasks (see the timetable of weekly activities for more details). Note that attendance at seminars is compulsory.

    Group seminar presentations: In week 2, we shall organise the group seminar presentations. Presentations begin in week 4. Think now about what text you would like to research for the seminar presentations. The text you choose for the seminar presentation MUST NOT be the same text on which you intend to write the second research essay/project. Please see the timetable below for an indication of what texts will be discussed and when. Mentally pencil your name next to one of them.
    Week Group Presentation on Set Texts
    Oedipus
    5 1 Tamburlaine
    6 Hamlet
    Mother Courage and Her Children
    8 Antigone
    9 Death of a Salesman
    Assessment Detail
    Participation

    Students will engage in supportive peer interaction in class activities, and in the co-operative sharing of materials and information via online postings or distribution in class. Students are expected to have read all set materials in preparation for weekly seminars, and to actively engage in discussion.

    Group research presentation
    In the week 2 seminars, students will be assigned to a group investigating one of the set texts. Areas of investigation may include but are not limited to the following:

    1. Brief biography of the author and survey of the author’s other works
    2. Summary of the contents of the set text and delineation of its main themes
    3. Historical / political / and other contributing circumstances surrounding the production of the set text
    4. Form and structure of the set text
    5. Reception (critical and otherwise) of the set text, both in its original context and subsequently
    6. Performance history (if applicable)

    More information will be available on MyUni.

    Research essay/project #1

    There are a number of options in this assignment for students to choose from. The research essay/project can be either:

    1. The investigation of a key term or concept in the discourse of Tragedy, or a theorist. Note that the dramatists themselves may be considered as theorists of Tragedy.
    2. An essay that summarises 5 critical materials related to the set text you intend to examine in the second research essay/project.
    3. A preliminary investigation of the text on which the student has chosen to write his/her research essay/project #2, and an overview of the ways in which the student intends to approach the topic based on that investigation.

    *Note that in this course students will develop their own research topic and related questions for the research essay/project #2 under the guidance of the course coordinator in the seminars in week 10. While students may use their findings in any of the options outlined above as a foundation for the research essay/project #2, outright repetition of material will incur a Fail grade for the second research essay/project.

    Research essay/project #2

    As noted above, students will develop their own research topic and related questions. There is also the opportunity to write on the same text(s) / key term or concept / theorist in both research essays/projects. This is not an excuse to be lazy but the chance to study an area of interest in more depth.

    You will have noted that I have specified 'research essay/project' rather than simply 'research essay'. This is because students are strongly encouraged to be creative and contemporary in their thinking about possible research topics, and in the presentation of that research. More information will be available on MyUni.
    Submission
    Assignments will be submitted and marked in Turnitin unless otherwise negotiated with the course coordinator (for example, if you choose a creative response in research essay/project #2).

    Extensions for assignments 

    Students may apply for extensions for assignments on medical or compassionate grounds, or in the event of extenuating circumstances.

    For the policy on extensions, click on the following link:

    http://www.adealide.edu.au/policies/3303/

    To apply for an extension on medical or compassionate grounds, or in the event of extenuating circumstances, click on the following link, where you will find the relevant forms and information sheets:

    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/students/exams/mod_arrange.html

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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