ALL381 - Reading the End of Nature


2021 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Cloud (online)
Trimester 3: Burwood (Melbourne), Cloud (online)
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125

One Literary Studies unit at second year level



Incompatible with:


Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x recorded online class per week, 1 x 2-hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud (online)

Online independent and collaborative learning activities including: 1 x recorded online class per week plus online discussion (equivalent 2-hours) per week


This unit responds to the current environmental crisis to critically consider the role of literature in both producing and responding to ‘the end of nature’. This ending relates to ways of seeing, thinking and writing about nature that have reached their historical limit and can no longer be sustained. Ranging across themes such as ‘the pastoral’, ‘the disaster’, ‘decolonisation’, ‘animals’ and ‘the post-human’, the unit encourages students to critically consider these and other concepts as historically and culturally contingent, and to understand the ways in which literary texts – including fiction, non-fiction and film across a range of genres – generate, contest and perform these concepts. Ultimately, students will be asked to reflect on what reading at the end nature might mean outside of the text, in a world facing what Swedish student activist Greta Thunberg calls ‘climate breakdown’, and how reading and political action might go hand in hand.

Unit Fee Information

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