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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)Dr Kate Rigby


Previously coded CLS3055


This unit provides an introduction to the study of weather and climate as seen from the perspective of the ecological humanities, and in particular, ecocritical literary and cultural studies. We will examine evidence for, and theories concerning, the ways in which weather and climate might have an influence on and in turn be influenced by human culture and society. Particular attention will be given to the meanings attributed to climatic phenomena within (mainly European and Australian) literature. Among the texts to be studied are the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh, Shakespeare's The Tempest, a selection of poetry and some recent examples of Global Warming sci-fi literature and film.


Students successfully completing this subject should have developed:

  1. A basic understanding of the dynamic interrelationship of culture and climate.
  2. A more detailed understanding of the meanings attributed to climatic phenomena in particular literary and filmic texts from a range of times and places, including some which are specifically concerned with the socio-cultural impact of anthropogenic climate change.
  3. Competency in the analysis and interpretation of relevant written and visual texts from an ecocritical perspective.
  4. Skills in presenting both orally and in writing their own informed ideas about the interrelationship of culture and climate.

In addition, students taking this unit at third year level should have developed an understanding of the theoretical and methodological implications of new research on the interrelationship of culture and climate for the field of literary and cultural studies.


Class paper (900 words): 20%
Class test (1.5 hours): 30%
Essay (2,000 words): 40%
Seminar attendance: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Kate Rigby

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week

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

Sustainability, environment and society
Comparative literature and cultural studies