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Unit of study_

ICLS2621: Love in Different Languages

What is the meaning of "love"? Is it the same for different individuals and cultures at different periods? What is its relationship to desire, language and death? Why do the Greeks have three words for love and the English one? This unit of study explores the theme of love in a variety of national literatures including Arabic, English, Greek, French and Italian.


Academic unit International Comparative Literature and Translation Studies
Unit code ICLS2621
Unit name Love in Different Languages
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

12 credit points at 1000 level from any of the following majors: Arabic Studies or Chinese Studies or English or European Studies or French Studies or Germanic Studies or International and Comparative Literature and Translation Studies or Modern Hebrew or Indonesian Studies or Italian Studies or Japanese Studies or Korean Studies or Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies or Spanish and Latin American Studies or History
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Sonia Wilson,
Lecturer(s) Sonia Wilson ,
Nanda Jarosz,
Brangwen Stone,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Presentation
10% Multiple weeks 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO5
Assignment Essay 1
45% Week 08
Due date: 20 Apr 2020 at 23:00
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4
Assignment Essay 2
45% Week 14 (STUVAC)
Due date: 05 Jun 2020 at 23:00
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?
  • Class presentation: select a topic from the list that will be made available on Canvas and present in groups of two in tutorial time. 
  • Essay 1: Select an essay question on either module 1 or module 2, or a comparative question that draws on both.  
  • Essay 2: Select an essay question on either module 1, module 2, or module 3, or a question that draws on two or more of these modules. 

Students must ensure that they cover all three modules when choosing presentation and essay topics.

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:

Written work submitted electronically after 11.59 pm on the due date will be considered to have been submitted late. For every calendar day up to and including ten calendar days after the due date, a penalty of 5% of the maximum awardable marks will be applied to late work. The penalty will be calculated by first marking the work, and then subtracting 5% of the maximum awardable mark for each calendar day after the due date. For work submitted more than ten calendar days after the due date a mark of zero will be awarded. The marker may elect to, but is not required to, provide feedback on such work.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, 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 dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

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

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction: What is love? Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 02 Medieval and early modern love in France Lecture (1 hr)  
The Art of courtly love Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 03 Bourgeois love in France: contextualising 'Madame Bovary' Lecture (1 hr)  
Flaubert and irony Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 04 Reception of Madame Bovary: the obscenity trial Lecture (1 hr)  
Passion and intoxication: Emma and Rodolphe Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 05 Madame Bovary: translation and transposition Lecture (1 hr)  
Prayer and passion Suicide and romantic love Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 06 Love and gender: from German romanticism to contemporary Austrian theatre Lecture (1 hr)  
Gendered assumptions about agency and traditional notions of romance Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 07 Deconstructing gendered identities in romantic love Lecture (1 hr)  
A fairytale romance gone wrong Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 08 Waiting for the 'love' of one's life Lecture (1 hr)  
Forgetting oneself Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 09 The deconstruction of the fairytale romance Lecture (1 hr)  
The notion of uniqueness in romantic love Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 10 Nonhuman love: Nature, respect and values Lecture (1 hr)  
Receptivity, awareness and otherness Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 11 Animals and anthropomorphism Lecture (1 hr)  
anthropomorphism, sentimentality Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 12 AI, Illusion, projection and concealment Lecture (1 hr)  
Can love cross the species divide? Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 13 Objects, animism and psychology Lecture (1 hr)  
Objects, animism and psychology Tutorial (1 hr)  

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

• Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary (trans. Lydia Davis). London: Penguin, 2012 Paperback. Available from Kinokuniya or Book Depository

Other editions of the Lydia Davis translation also fine.

• Monika Maron: Animal Triste (1997). Translation: Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2000 (Available from Book Depository

• T.H White, The Goshawk (1951) Foreword Helen Macdonald. London:  Hachette edition, available through Book Depository:

All other readings will be available through eReserve.

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. • Identify concepts of love across a variety of cultural settings
  • LO2. • Demonstrate an understanding of the historical, political and social factors that shape the concept of love
  • LO3. • Apply techniques of textual analysis to compare two or more texts from different language traditions
  • LO4. • Develop an evidence-based, well structured and clearly articulated argument in academic English
  • LO5. • Communicate ideas effectively in a classroom setting

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
A brand-new module on Non-human love has been added to this unit since its last iteration.


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