ENGL 4001 - Honours English Critical Thinking

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

This course provides an opportunity to undertake advanced level study in literary theory and critical approaches in the discipline of English. The aim of the Honours Critical Thinking course is to develop students' understanding of the nature of criticism and the often unspoken assumptions that underlie various modes of critical analysis. Students will have the opportunity to develop high-order analytic and writing skills appropriate to the discipline of English. Topics to be covered will address core methodologies in literary study and key scholarly approaches to reading and writing about literature.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENGL 4001
    Course Honours English Critical Thinking
    Coordinating Unit English and Creative Writing
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact 2 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites Completed degree (72 units) including 24 units of English OR a minor sequence of 18 units in English for students with a Creative Writing major of 24 units
    Restrictions Available only to students admitted to the relevant Honours or Masters program
    Course Description This course provides an opportunity to undertake advanced level study in literary theory and critical approaches in the discipline of English. The aim of the Honours Critical Thinking course is to develop students' understanding of the nature of criticism and the often unspoken assumptions that underlie various modes of critical analysis. Students will have the opportunity to develop high-order analytic and writing skills appropriate to the discipline of English. Topics to be covered will address core methodologies in literary study and key scholarly approaches to reading and writing about literature.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Meg Samuelson

    Course convenor for 2017: Dr Meg Samuelson
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    This course contributes to the broader curriculum in that it provides an opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge of a chosen topic through the processes of research and writing for all students undertaking an Honours year in English. On the completion of this course the student will be able to
    1. demonstrate an advanced understanding of selected literary and critical theories and their main contributors and interventions in the field
    2. articulate a systematic and critical understanding of selected literary and cultural research methods
    3. critically evaluate contemporary debates in English literary studies and critical theory
    4. demonstrate highly developed skills in critical reasoning, analysis and written communication
    5. recognise the ethical, social and cultural issues in relation to the study of English literature
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3, 5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3, 4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    4, 5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 2, 3, 5
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The three required set readings per week (starting from week 2) will be available in a course reader and on MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Lists of recommended additional readings will be posted under each week in MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    One two hour seminar per week in which the required readings will be discussed and which will present opportunities for collaborative learning and testing out new ideas, as well as formulating research questions for further study.

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

    2 hour seminar per week .............................................................. 2 hours
    6 hours research per week ........................................................... 6 hours
    10 hours mandated reading per week .......................................... 10 hours
    6 hours writing work (drafts, editing, re-writing) per week ............. 6 hours
    Sub-total per week ......................................................................... 24 hours
    In addition, a further 24 hours in week 13 is expected in the preparation of the final assessment piece 
    TOTAL 24 x 13: 312 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Seminar Schedule

    Class 1 (28 Feb): Introduction

    Class 2 (7 Mar): What is Critique, and Has It Run Out of Steam?

    Readings: Foucault, Latour, Muecke

    Class 3 (14 Mar): From Authority to Inter/Textuality

    Readings: Bakhtin, Barthes, Kristeva

    Class 4 (21 Mar): The Politics of Location and Embodiment in Feminism

    Readings: Rich, Haraway, Ahmed

    Class 5 (28 Mar): Gender Performativity and the Politics of Precarity

    Readings: Butler, Gender Trouble; “Violence”; “Performativity”

    Class 6 (4 Apr): Reparative, Surface and Post-Critical Reading

    Readings: Sedgwick, Best & Marcus, Felski

    Mid-semester break 

    Class 7 (25 Apr): Imperial Worldings and Writing from the Margins

    Readings: Said, Spivak, Huggan

    Class 8 (2 May): World Literary Debates I

    Readings: Moretti, Damrosch, Apter

    Class 9 (9 May): World Literary Debates II

    Readings: Auerbach, Ngugi, Cheah 

    Class 10 (16 May): Environmentalisms, Dark Ecology & Reading the Earth

    Readings: Nixon, Morton, Oliver

    Class 11 (23 May): Human-Animal Relations

    Readings: Derrida, Deleuze, Haraway

    Class 12 (30 May): Narrating the Anthropocene

    Readings: Clark, Latour, Ghosh
  • 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 will be based on a weekly journal (35%), an essay proposal and annotated bibliography (20%) and a final essay (45%).
    Assessment Detail
    Journal: 2,200 words
    An entry of 200 words per week be submitted before the relevant seminar in MyUni. Upload entries 1-5 in Journals 1-5 and entries In approx. 100 words you should (a) identify a core issue at stake in the topic of enquiry each week and (b) present a question for further discussion in the seminar. In the remaining 100 words you should engage with a point of interest or provocation in one of the set readings for the week. Please bring hard or e-copies of your journal entry for the week to class to draw on in the discussion. Journals will be marked in two batches: entries 1-5 (feedback provided after the mid-semester break) and entries 6-11 (marked at the end of the semester)

    Essay proposal and annotated bibliography: 1,200 words 
    This assessment task is designed to help you prepare for your essay as well as to develop general research skills. It would be to your advantage to complete the essay on the topic that you have researched here, although that is not a requirement should your interests shift. The Essay Proposal and Annotated Bibliography should have five components that together comprise 1,200 words: 1. Provisional essay title 2. Research Focus A paragraph (approx. 100 words) outlining the focus of your proposed essay 3. Rationale A paragraph or two (approx. 200 words) that presents a motivation for the study 4. Research Questions One to three research questions that will open and direct your enquiry 5. Annotated bibliography Compile a list of 4-6 entries (depending on the length and density of the selected texts) of which no more than half can be drawn from the recommended additional readings (and of which none may be drawn from the required readings). Annotate each entry with appox. 150-250 words in which you identify the core intervention made in the reading and/or briefly summarize its argument. You should also briefly indicate why it is of interest to you and how it will contribute to your proposed research essay. You may write in intelligible fragments rather than full sentences for this component of this assessment task only. The combined entries should be approximately 900 words in total. Assessment will take into account: (a) the pertinence, appropriateness and viability of the proposed essay topic; (b) the extent to which it is adequately motivated; (c) the extent to which the questions are appropriate to the topic and likely to direct the research on a sound and probing course; (d) the appropriateness of the selected bibliographic entries to the topic; (e) the understanding and critical thinking demonstrated in the annotations; and (f) whether or not the entries are correctly presented in the MLA referencing style. You will receive feedback by midnight 5 June if you submit on or before the deadline (late submissions uploaded until the cut-off date will be marked along with the essays).

    Essay: 4,000 words
    Devise your own essay topic. The essay should engage with one or more of the enquiries that we have engaged with in the weekly seminars, and with at least two of the required readings (as well as further readings identified during the preliminary research undertaken for the previous assessment task or subsequent to it). You are encouraged to make illustrative reference to literary and/or other cultural texts, or to comment on the ways in which the theoretical text(s) you have chosen to explore or grapple with are generative of various ways of reading or responding to certain primary texts. However, these primary texts (novels, films, curatorial interventions etc.) should not become the object or focus of your analysis. You should also not seek to “apply” a certain theoretical approach to a particular literary text or cultural work. The focus and centre of gravity of your discussion must remain on the critical debates with which we have engaged during the semester.
    All submissions to be uploaded onto MyUni Assignments.

    Journal: entries submitted weekly (week 2-12)

    Essay proposal and annotated bibliography: submitted by noon 1 June

    Essay: submitted by noon 12 June

    Course Grading

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

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    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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