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Unit of study_

ENGL3709: Global Literature and Times of Perpetual War

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit explores how literary and cultural works address the state of perpetual war of the historical present. Focusing on Third World decolonisation contexts, we will consider how writers and artists interrogate the gender, racial, and national ideologies that fuel violence, and how literary cultural analysis contributes towards understanding the global unevenly distributed effects of war.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ENGL3709
Academic unit English and Writing
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 2000 level in English or 12 credit points at 2000 level in Australian Literature
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Isabelle Hesse,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Research Essay
Research Essay
50% Formal exam period
Due date: 05 Jun 2023 at 23:59
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Blog Post and Response
Blog Post and Response
15% Multiple weeks 2x500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Participation Participation
Attendance and In-Class Participation (10%), Week 1 and 13 Reflections (5%)
15% Ongoing Ongoing
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5
Assignment Research plan and annotated bibliography
Research plan and annotated bibliography
20% Week 09
Due date: 30 Apr 2023 at 23:59
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

  • Participation: Participation marks will be awarded for attending and contributing to the seminar discussion (10%) and completing reflections in weeks 1 and 13 (5%) (The reflections are Pass/Fail tasks but with marks deducted for late submission).
  • Online discussion response: In week 1, students will sign up for a weekly slot to post one  500-word blog post discussing the assigned readings for the week on Canvas Discussions. The post should engage in close analysis of an aspect of the assigned reading and also raise two questions for discussions. Students will also post one 500-word response to another student’s blog post. 
  • Research plan and annotated bibliography: The research plan should be accompanied by an annotated bibliography of the list of sources, which you intend to consult in producing your final essay/podcast. The list should include a full bibliographic citation (MLA or Chicago style) and a brief annotation summarising its contents and relevance to your topic.
  • Final Essay: The final essay is an opportunity for you to delve deeply into a research topic of your own choosing and to explore what particular insights that a literary work that we have studied in this unit offers in relation to the notion of perpetual war, broadly defined. The essay should present an argument about the literary work, one substantiated by research, and situate this argument within a broader conversation (e.g. an existing scholarly discussion or a public debate about an issue) to demonstrate its significance.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas. All assessments must be completed in order to pass this unit.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Late penalties of 5% per calendar late will be applied, according to Faculty policy.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture (1 hr) LO5
Introduction Seminar (2 hr) LO5
Week 02 Burnt Shadows Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Burnt Shadows Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 03 Burnt Shadows Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Burnt Shadows Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 04 Half of a Yellow Sun Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Half of a Yellow Sun Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 05 Half of a Yellow Sun Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Half of a Yellow Sun Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 06 Persepolis Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Persepolis Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 07 Persepolis Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Persepolis Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 08 The Drone Eats with Me Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
The Drone Eats with Me Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 09 The Drone Eats with Me Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
The Drone Eats with Me Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 10 The Refugees Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
The Refugees Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 11 The Old Lie Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
The Old Lie Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 12 The Old Lie Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
The Old Lie Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 13 Conclusion Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Please buy or borrow a copy of the following books (any edition is fine).

- Atef Abu Saif. The Drone Eats with Me.

- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Half of a Yellow Sun.

- Claire G. Coleman. The Old Lie.

- Marjane Satrapi. Persepolis I.


Kamila Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows is available as an e-book via the library catalogue and extracts from The Refugees will be provided via Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an awareness of the range of literary and cultural works from Africa and the Asia Pacific that engage with world historical events from a variety of perspectives
  • LO2. demonstrate an understanding of how literary and cultural works illuminate processes of gender, racial, and national formation, as well as how they operate in a range of contexts
  • LO3. demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between literature, culture, and politics, as well as articulate how aesthetic analysis can contribute to understanding contemporary issues related to war
  • LO4. cultivate effective writing and thinking skills to develop, refine, and express ideas in a clear and engaging manner to specific audiences
  • LO5. recognise that collaboration is central to the process of learning and knowledge making, and to develop effective listening and communication skills to build an environment conducive to these ends.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

In response to feedback from the previous cohort, the following changes have been made: - the weightings and word limits for the research essay plan and essay have been adjusted, so that the plan is now worth 20% and the essay 50% - there will only be due dates for blog posts and responses in the first week for texts that are studied over two weeks to avoid giving an advantage to students who are posting in the second week


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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