ALL375 - Shakespeare Today: Sex, Race and Politics

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Geoff Boucher
Cohort rule:Nil


Incompatible with: ALL275
Typical study commitment:

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

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

1 x 1 hour lecture (online), 1 x 2-hour seminar per week

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - online unit enrolment:

Online independent and collaborative learning activities including 1 x 1-hour lecture (online) per week, 1 x 2-hour seminar or equivalent per week


Today, Shakespeare is probably the most important literary figure in any language. His impact on world literature has been immense. And the still-expanding shockwave of his influence can also be felt far from literature, in everyday contexts such as romance and race relations. What would the modern cult of love as passion be, for instance, without its poetic manual, Romeo and Juliet? For this very reason, Shakespeare used to be claimed by the cultural and political establishment as a spokesperson for the status quo. Recent work on Shakespeare has completely shattered that myth. Today, we discover a Shakespeare who was superbly critical. Perhaps, indeed, Shakespeare had secrets that bordered on treasonous. Certainly, Shakespeare wrote sex, race and love in ways that are dangerous and supple, not smug or congratulatory. The unit tracks this, highly contemporary Shakespeare, across six key texts. Students get to grips with Shakespeare’s plays and poems in a way that focuses on the way that his work that has kept its sting. Through queer theory and post-colonial readings, it explores Shakespeare’s refusal of the reigning orthodoxies of his day—and ours. Students will be asked to critically analyse a play or group of poems in light of these in current debates. Then they will have the opportunity to discover for themselves, and explore in depth, an innovative contemporary Shakespeare.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Apply knowledge of literary history, literary modes, theoretical concepts, literary language, and creative approaches to the works of Shakespeare

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication


Communicate major literary, critical and theoretical ideas to a variety of audiences

GLO2: Communication


Critically engage with the production of texts and discourses and apply findings to the relevant literary research

GLO4: Critical thinking


Analyse and evaluate theoretical, historical and contemporary approaches to literary conventions to create new, innovative and cross-generic modes of responses to these works

GLO5: Problem Solving


Work autonomously as a reflective practitioner committed to learning and developing skills in literary studies

GLO4: Critical thinking

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year.


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Report   2000 words
or equivalent 
50% Information not yet available
Assessment 2 - Essay  2000 words
or equivalent 
50% Information not yet available

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via ALL375 
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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