University of Technology Sydney

024413 English Study 3: The Literature of Protest

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education: Initial Teacher Education
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade, no marks


This subject investigates the role of literature as both art and personal agency for individuals and groups involved in protest in various social, political and cultural domains. This subject examines how texts depict, persuade and engage audiences through the use of language and various stylistic features. Students develop knowledge and skills in identifying and evaluating a range of approaches to literary theory including Aristotle's Poetics, the works of the Romantic poets, the tradition of practical criticism and the rise of critical theory in general. Students develop and demonstrate an understanding of a range of literary concepts and research skills in the fields of literature and literary theory and how the teaching of literature in school-based education has shifted in focus and methodology. A wide range of historical and current texts is covered with particular reference to the required texts.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Identify and evaluate key thematic, structural and language features of historical and/or current protest literature.
b. Critique the ways in which writers, poets and dramatists design their texts to fulfil specific purposes.
c. Construct and use language effectively and appropriately.
d. Communicate ideas and literary concepts with clarity and precision.
e. Apply academic conventions with clarity and precision.

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject objectives contribute to all course aims, but in particular, they encourage a working knowledge of how purpose and audience influences language choices, and of how literature exerts a powerful cultural influence in a wide range of historical contexts. They encourage the development of literate practices and critical literacy, awareness and understanding of which is necessary both as a framework for, and as the reflective engagement with, effective teaching.

This subject addresses the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

1. Professional Readiness
1.1 Operate professionally in a range of educational settings, with particular emphasis on their specialisation (GTS 1, 2)

2. Critical and Creative Inquiry

2.1 Analyse and synthesise research and engage in inquiry (GTS 3)
2.2 Make well-informed contributions to contemporary debates pertinent to education (GTS3)

6. Effective Communication
6.2 Exhibit high level numeracy and literacies (GTS 2)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject will use a range of teaching and learning strategies which include lecturer input, demonstration and modelling; student pair/group tasks; teaching observation and practice; and discussions held in class and online. Preparatory work undertaken will be discussed/workshopped in tutorials. The subject involves significant emphasis on collaborative learning with tutorial activities involving working with peers to discuss ideas, texts and assessment tasks. Tutorials provide students with opportunities to receive ongoing informal feedback from peers and their tutor. In the students’ out of class time it is expected that the students will critically read/view assigned texts and complete the activities and tasks required for the class.

Tutors will give feedback on the students’ task content and academic language in the initial weeks of the session.

Content (topics)

In this subject, students focus on:

  • the beginnings of literary criticism from Aristotle, Sidney, Shelley, Arnold and through the twentieth century into the current era;
  • key ideas and aspects of critical theory;
  • the language and structural features of historical and current protest literature including key texts;
  • the shifting thematic concerns of protest literature;
  • how the teaching of literature has changed in school-based classrooms;
  • writing processes and how these affect structure, language and the themes of literature;
  • strengthening and refining literary research skills;
  • strengthening and extending imaginative and analytical writing skills and knowledge;
  • working collaboratively with peers.


Assessment task 1: Analytical writing


a, b, d and e

Weight: 50%

1200 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Evidence of understanding of the key aspects of protest literature 30 a 1.1
Effective critique of key stylistic aspects of protest literature 30 b 2.1
Clarity and precision of writing and academic writing skills 30 d 2.2
Effective use of accurate and scholarly referencing 10 e 6.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Imaginative writing


c and d

Weight: 50%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Effective language use appropriate to protest themes and chosen genre 50 c 6.2
Evidence of sound knowledge of ideas and literary concepts related to protest 50 d 1.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Attendance at tutorials is important because the subject takes a collaborative approach which involves essential interchange of ideas with other students and the lecturer. An attendance roll will be taken at each tutorial. Where possible, students should advise the lecturer in a timely manner if they are unable to attend. If more than one tutorial is missed, additional make-up work may/will be assigned. Students who fail to attend 8 of the tutorials may be refused to have their final assessment marked (UTS Rule 3.8).

Required texts

Other resources

A wide variety of references may be used. These may include:

  • Gilbert, S.M. and S. Gubar (1979). The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination, Yale University Press, New Haven.

  • Kertzer, A. (2002). My Mother’s Voice: Children, Literature and the Holocaust, Broadview Press, Peterborough, Ontario.

  • Johnston, R. R. (2002). ‘Teacher-as-artist, Researcher-as-artist: Creating structures for success,’ in G. Bull and M. Anstey (eds) Crossing the Boundaries, Pearson Australia, French’s Forest, pp.311-327).

  • Moi, T. (1985). Sexual Textual Politics. Feminist Literary Theory, Methuen, London.

  • Showalter, E. (1979). A Literature of their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing, Virago, London.


  • Critical Inquiry


  • Primary Texts

Additional Texts

  • Jeannie Baker, Where the Forest Meets the Sea

  • The Story of Rosy Dock

  • The Hidden Forest

  • Window

  • Gretel Killeen Cherry Pie

  • Anthony Browne Zoo

  • Papunya Papunya School Book of Country and History

  • Brian Caswell and David Phu an Chiem Only the Heart

  • Morris Gleitzman Girl Underground

  • Boy Overboard

  • Morrison, Toni Beloved

  • Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol

  • Nadine Gordimer ‘Once Upon a Time’

  • J. Chang Wild Swans

  • Larissa Behrendt Home

Other texts may also be studied in part or in whole during the semester.