ENGL 2071 - Anthropocene Arts: Nature-Cultures in an Age of Planetary Change

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

In 2016, the term ?Anthropocene? was formally proposed to name a new epoch in which the human species has become a geological force fundamentally altering earth system processes, and causing climate change, species extinction and loss of biodiversity. The cultural implications of this epochal shift are enormous. We will explore them by reading and viewing contemporary creative works that craft responses to it and help us to rethink the relation between nature and culture, human and nonhuman, in a time of planetary change brought about by human activity. At the same time, we will think about how these works mark and challenge the ways in which the effects of climate change and other products of the Anthropocene are unevenly distributed across the globe and between different communities. The course will centre upon creative fiction and non-fiction, but will also engage with a range of other genres including poetry, photo-essays, graphic novels, film, art installations and curatorial projects; it will advance students? skills in critical analysis while also offering them the opportunity to think through different registers, such as creative writing and auto-ethnography. It will enable students to grapple with the most significant condition of our times while honing their understanding of how the arts matter in the world today.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENGL 2071
    Course Anthropocene Arts: Nature-Cultures in an Age of Planetary Change
    Coordinating Unit English and Creative Writing
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Assumed Knowledge Familiarity with the reading and analysis of literary texts and/or film
    Course Description In 2016, the term ?Anthropocene? was formally proposed to name a new epoch in which the human species has become a geological force fundamentally altering earth system processes, and causing climate change, species extinction and loss of biodiversity. The cultural implications of this epochal shift are enormous. We will explore them by reading and viewing contemporary creative works that craft responses to it and help us to rethink the relation between nature and culture, human and nonhuman, in a time of planetary change brought about by human activity. At the same time, we will think about how these works mark and challenge the ways in which the effects of climate change and other products of the Anthropocene are unevenly distributed across the globe and between different communities. The course will centre upon creative fiction and non-fiction, but will also engage with a range of other genres including poetry, photo-essays, graphic novels, film, art installations and curatorial projects; it will advance students? skills in critical analysis while also offering them the opportunity to think through different registers, such as creative writing and auto-ethnography. It will enable students to grapple with the most significant condition of our times while honing their understanding of how the arts matter in the world today.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Meg Samuelson

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate specialised knowledge of literary and other cultural works that address the conditions of the Anthropocene and be able to evaluate, interpret and respond to them in written and oral formats
    2. Demonstrate understanding of some of the major issues and debates in the environmental humanities or in response to the idea of the Anthropocene
    3. Approach problems presented by the Anthropocene and in the Arts with creativity and/or critical insight
    4. Demonstrate independent research skills, an ability to synthesise information within and across disciplines and the capacity to formulate and articulate considered points of view in writing and oral discussion
    5. Collaborate effectively with peers to explore ideas, hone responses to critical problems, and identify and grapple with ‘wicked problems’
    6. Reflect on ethical responses to human and nonhuman communities and their environments
    7. Use contemporary technologies relevant to participation in the course

    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, 4
    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
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    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
    1, 4, 5, 7
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    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, 5, 6
    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
    3, 5, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Set works:
    Novels
    Atwood, Margaret. Oryx & Crake (2003)
    Bradley, James. Clade (2015)
    Kingsolver, Barbara. Flight Behaviour (2012) 
    *Wright, Alexis. Carpentaria (2006) 

    Films

    Von Trier, Lars. Dir. Melancholia (2011)
    Zeitlin, Behn. Dir. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

    Course reader
    A Course Reader will be available from Image & Copy by the first week of term. It will include short fiction, poetry, excerpts (from graphic novels, novels etc), essays and other secondary/theoretical sources.

    *Students are encouraged to source and read Wright's extraordinary novel in full, but we will focus on Chap 11: The Mine and Chap 13: The Wash (excepts to be provided).
    Recommended Resources
    Recommended Resources will be made available through MyUni.
    Online Learning
    One hour of online content (including lecture material) will be made available through MyUni each week, along with various additional required and recommended resources. 
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    1. One hour of online content per week (including video recordings of lectures, and other online audio/visual materials such as relevant  
         talks on YouTube, documentary clips, art projects and art video work, music videos, etc)
    2. Two hour workshop per week (lecturer- and tutor-guided small group discussions, and other study and research/making activities)
    Workload

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

    Structured learning:
    2 hour workshop per week x 12
    1 hour structured online learning (including lecture content) per week x 11

    Self-directed learning:
    5 hours reading per week 
    2 hours research per week
    3 hours assignment preparation per week
    Additional research and assignment preparation towards final essay in week 13
    Learning Activities Summary
    All information provided in the MyUni weekly modules.
  • 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
    Please see 'About this Course' in the MyUni Course Information Module.
    Assessment Detail
    Please see 'About this Course' in the MyUni Course Information Module, and Assignments in MyUni. 
    Submission
    All assignments to be submitted in MyUni. 
    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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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