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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2011
Coordinator(s)Stephen Pritchard


Previously coded AAS3130


This unit examines science texts as a representation or exploration of issues relating to colonialism, difference and identity politics. By reference to films such as Star Wars, Star Trek and Enemy Mine, the unit will consider a series of questions relating to political and social order, difference and conceptions of civilization and humanity. Topics covered will include parallels between science fiction and colonialism; imperialism, democracy and civilization; nature, technology and humanity; history, the past and the future.


This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of how fictional texts represent and express specific historical and cultural conceptions of identity, place and community. On successful completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. describe and critically compare both orally and in writing the key concepts in approaches to science fiction and cultural politics;
  2. examine leading attitudes, which dominate current thinking about culture and fiction from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including cultural studies, history, anthropology and archaeology;
  3. understand the importance of the historical and political context of fictional texts;
  4. critically analyze representations of culture and identity and understand their relationship debates concerning cultural politics;
  5. engage with broader debates relating to the interpretation of science fiction and fictional texts;
  6. demonstrate both orally and in writing an understanding of the social and political context of fictional texts and their relationship to broader issues concerning representation, imagination and social and political systems.


seminar paper (1000 word): 20%
research essay (3000 word): 70%
oral presentation (500 word equivalent): 10%

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week

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

Australian Indigenous studies


Any 1st year sequence in Arts, Social Work, Education or Law.