Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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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
Organisational UnitAustralian Centre for Jewish Civilisation
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Professor Leah Garrett


The unit will focus on war literature of the 20th and 21st centuries as a means to understand the varied ways in which the events of war are described in literary discourse. We will first consider the relevant historical context, and the biography of the authors and whether or not they experienced the events directly, before discussing how the topic of war becomes a means to present larger issues such as the nature of what an enemy is, how terror is understood, the role of heroism, and what it means to be a victor. We will also examine how war writing discusses aspects such as gender, and how the literature is in sync with larger socio-historical trends. We will also analyse if and how the literature of war and loss is artistic.


Students successfully completing this unit will be able to demonstrate:

  1. An understanding of the various individual, historical, cultural, and political factors that contribute to the shaping of how war is written about and memorialized.
  2. The ability to insightfully articulate and analyse the scholarly debates regarding differences between individual and collective experiences of the experience of war.
  3. The skills to critically assess the limitations and possibilities of employing Western conceptions of war to understanding non-Western contexts.
  4. Analyse the historical context of war literature and how it varies in place and time.
  5. Consider the difference between historically specific and universal representations of war and destruction.
  6. Explore the manner in which issues such as gender, trauma, loss, and heroism are represented in war literature.
  7. The ability to critically analyse different kinds of fictional sources from around the world.
  8. The development of skills for collaborative learning and group work.
  9. The acquisition of solid writing and oral presentation skills.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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