Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Social Science, South Africa
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Dr Pier Paolo Frassinelli


The unit explores contemporary literary and cultural texts as sites of reclaimed or reconstructed histories. The texts embody a range of complex negotiations with the past and memory, bringing the discourses of history and imagination into relationship. It examines a range of questions/debates which emerge at the intersection of history, culture and fiction, and the ways in which each text reflects key aspects of its historical and cultural context and the strategies involved in their representation. Students will be able to compare and contrast cultural texts from different socio-political configurations, bringing each text into relationship with other contexts and conditions.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should:

  1. demonstrate a critical awareness of the ways in which certain literary and other cultural texts encourage us to re-evaluate standardized notions of historical discourse and historical 'truth'
  2. appreciate the uses of literature and other cultural texts in revising and opposing dominant socio-political discourses
  3. be able to interpret a literary text, a movie and other kinds of cultural artifacts, demonstrating a sensitivity to the language and visual and narrative devices and strategies employed
  4. demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the major theoretical approaches which may be brought to bear on literary texts and other cultural artifacts
  5. be able to employ and evaluate such theoretical approaches in an interpretation of a cultural text
  6. handle the critical concepts and language appropriate to discussion of contemporary literature and culture
  7. demonstrate a development of the skills of analytic and critical discussion introduced at first year level.


Tutorial attendance and portfolio: 10%; Short essay (900 words): 20%; Long essay (1150 words): 25%; Examination: 2 hours (2000 words): 45%.
Comment about assessment of level 3 objective needed.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Four (Two x 1 hour lectures and two 1 hour tutorials)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


AZA2491, ATS2491, ATS3491