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Unit outline_

ICLS3000: Representations of War Culture

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit surveys different cinematic representations of war. The genre of war film is popular, reminding viewers that war is a constant in society and that the experience of war will continue to create critical debate. The unit includes different national cinemas of war film and will focus on such aspects as the effects of war on society and the significance of the individual in armed conflict.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit International Comparative Literature and Translation Studies
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 2000 level from any of the following majors: Arabic Language and Cultures or Asian Studies or Chinese Studies or English or European Studies or Film Studies or French and Francophone 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
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Benjamin Nickl,
Lecturer(s) Mats Karlsson,
Benjamin Nickl,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Presentation
20% Multiple weeks 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Assignment Essay 1: film review
Written assessment: content-based film review
20% Week 07 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4
Assignment Essay 2: analytical essay
Written assessment: comparative film analysis
20% Week 12 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO5
Presentation Creative module task
40% Week 13 2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO6 LO5

Assessment summary

  • Creative module task: Students are required to present a final project based on their analytical, conceptual, and thematic work on war cinemas in this unit. The project can be a creative audio-visual production, a visual, or another creative project.
  • Presentation: Students are required to deliver a short presentation of the films screened during that week. Presentations are meant to introduce the films and summarise their most relevant and salient features related to the unit topic. Students should present on features they think are relevant to the genre study of war cinema films. 
  • Essay 1: Students are required to prepare content based reviews of the films watched during weeks two to four.
  • Essay 2: Students are required to work conceptually to deliver a comparative analytical analysis of two or more films from the two war cinema cultures discusssed.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas

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 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:

standard late penalties

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: war films - a cinema of untold stories; Course goals and topics; Assigning student presentation topics/weeks Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1
Week 02 Screening and presenting on unit films Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 03 Screening and presenting on unit films Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 04 Screening and presenting on unit films Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 05 Screening and presenting on unit films Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 06 Screening and presenting on unit films Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 07 Methodology of international comparative film studies: how to analyse and compare across cultures? Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Methodology of international comparative film studies: how to analyse and compare? Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Thematic aspects of war cinemas Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 10 Thematic aspects of war cinemas Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Thematic aspects of war cinemas Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Thematic aspects of war cinemas Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO5 LO6
Week 13 Final Project Presentation: Creative Module Task-Designing a War Film Festival Program Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO5 LO6

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

All readings and films and other related materials for this unit can be accessed though 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. discuss in writing and in class discussion the mechanisms of war film, and the different national cultures these films are produced in.
  • LO2. understand the nation-specific or culture-specific qualities of cultural representations of war and present those in oral presentations.
  • LO3. critically select theoretical readings and evaluate with them the qualities of different war films and their aesthetic according to categories like gender, nation, labour, etc.
  • LO4. construct advanced arguments in peer debate and in written analytical form.
  • LO5. use a rich repertoire of terms and methodology skills in international film and comparative cultural studies analysis.
  • LO6. produce independently materials and a short final presentation based on the unit task of designing a pitch for a war film festival as its creative director.

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.

Since this unit was last offered, changes have been made to the assessment schedule and changes have been made for online learning.

More information can be found on Canvas. 

Additional costs

There are not additional costs for this unit.

Site visit guidelines

There are not site visit guidelines for this unit.

Work, health and safety

There are not specific WHS requirements for this unit. 


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