University of Technology Sydney

55996 Honours Seminar in Culture and Creativity

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: Communication: FASS Communication Core
Credit points: 12 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject explores some of the key themes and approaches that characterise the areas of cultural, creative, and practice-led research. Through the study of a range of core concepts, theorists, and creative practices, students develop a comprehensive understanding of the cultural, aesthetic and historical underpinnings of their relevant fields in relation to their particular practice. Students are encouraged to explore the interactions and tensions between theories, arts practices, and methods so that they can act as informed, critically aware and creative researchers. A particular emphasis is placed on the production of innovative work in the contexts of traditional scholarship, the culture industries, and related professional fields.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Situate intellectual and creative practices in larger movements
b. Incorporate interdisciplinary perspectives
c. Develop advanced conceptual and creative frameworks
d. Extend knowledge of intellectual and creative fields
e. Reflect on individual practice
f. Execute sustained work that displays innovation and creativity

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Possess an advanced knowledge of professional practice in a specific communication industry (1.1)
  • Apply theoretically informed understanding of a communication industry in an independent research project (1.2)
  • Possess information literacy skills to locate, gather, organise and synthesise information across diverse platforms to inform the understanding of a communication industry (2.1)
  • Be reflexive critical thinkers and creative practitioners who are intellectually curious, imaginative and innovative, with an ability to plan and execute a piece of research (2.2)
  • Demonstrate an awareness and knowledge of global contexts and openness to cultural exchange (3.1)
  • Employ professional skills responsibly and respectfully in a global environment (3.2)
  • Possess a critical understanding of the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within contemporary Australian politics, history and culture (4.1)
  • Possess well-developed communication skills and proficiencies to present a clear and coherent exposition of knowledge and ideas to a variety of audiences (6.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject will employ a diverse range of face-to-face and technology-enriched methods to support active student learning. These include: on-line peer review; small-group work; workshopping; seminars; collaborative presentations; individual assignments.

Early and ongoing feedback on student progress in the subject is provided from both peers and instructor through weekly online pre-class activities.

Content (topics)

Subject content will be structured around three broad themes to be determined by teaching staff. The themes will identify advanced-level topics in cultural, aesthetic and creative practice, with an orientation towards contemporary paradigms of intellectual and creative production. The themes will also be informed by the theoretical, social and historical underpinnings of such practices, and engage critically with schools of thought and aesthetic movements across cultural studies, writing, media arts production, sound and music design, digital media, and and other relevant areas.


Assessment task 1: Reflective statement on theme one


a, b, d and e

Weight: 15%

1000 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Quality of analysis 40 e 3.1
Depth of reflection 30 b 2.2
Breadth and range of understanding of chosen theory 20 d 4.1
Clarity of expression 10 a 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Discussion paper on conceptual framework


a, b, d and e

Weight: 35%

2,000 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Depth of conceptual understanding 40 e 2.1
Synthesis of concepts and knowledge 30 b 1.1
Quality and range of analysis 15 d 6.1
Clarity of expression and structure 15 a 3.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Essay or creative work


a, c and f

Weight: 50%

3,000 words or equivalent

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Quality of conception and execution of core idea 40 f 2.2
Execution demonstrates advanced knowledge of disciplinary creative practices 20 a 1.1
Depth of conceptual understanding 20 c 1.2
Clarity of expression and structure 20 a 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Attendance is essential in this subject. Classes are based on a collaborative approach that involves essential work-shopping and interchange of ideas with other students and the tutor. A roll will be taken at each class. Students who have more than two absences from class will be refused final assessment (see Rule 3.8).?

In this subject assessment tasks are cumulative so that each task builds understanding and/or skills, informed by formative feedback. Consequently, all assessments must be submitted in order for you to receive feedback. Students who do not submit all assessments will not pass the subject.

Required texts


Recommended texts




Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. "Jumping Monkey Hill." The Thing Around Your Neck. London: Fourt Estate, 2009, 95-114.

Althusser, Louis. "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses." Cultural Theory and Popular Culture Reader. Ed. John Storey. Harlow, England: Pearson Education, 2009. 302-312.

Cho, Tom. "I, Robot." Look Who's Morphing. Sydney: Giramondo Publishing, 2009, 97-108.

Clift, Robert A. Blacking Up: Hip-hop's Remix of Race and Identity. 2010. 56 minutes. (documentary) Available through university library streaming service.

Creed, Barbara. "Horror and the Monstrous-Feminine: An Imaginary Abjection." Screen 27, no. 1 (1986): 44-71.

Feuerzeig, Jeff. Author: The J.T. LeRoy Story. 2016, 107 minutes. [documentary]. Available through the library streaming service Kanopy.

Freud, Sigmund. "The Uncanny." Literary Theory: An Anthology, second edition. Edited by J. Rivkin and M. Ryan. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2017, 418-30.

Frow, John. "'Reproducibles, Rubrics, and Everything You Need': Genre Theory Today." PMLA 122, no. 5 (2007): 1626-34.

Gay, John. The Beggar's Opera. [1728] London: William Heinemann, 1921.

Grant, Barry Keith. "Approaching Film Genre." Film Genre: From Iconography to Ideology. London: Wallflower, 2007.

Haynes, Todd. I'm Not There. 2007. (film) Available from library through the streaming service EduTV.

Hebidge, Dick. "From Culture to Hegemony." Subculture: The Meaning of Style. London: Methuen; Routledge, 1979. 5-19.

Hemmings, Clare. "Invoking Affect: Cultural Theory and the Ontological Turn." Cultural Studies 19, no. 5 (2005): 548-567.

Herman, Luc and Bart Vervaeck. "Ideology and Narrative Fiction." The Living Handbook of Narratology. 2013.

Hoffman, E. T. The Sandman. 1816.

Holt, Fabian. "Introduction." Genre in Popular Music. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. 1-30.

Horkheimer, Max and Theodor Adorno. "The Culture Industry as Mass Deception." [1944] Literary Theory: An Anthology, second edition. Edited by J. Rivkin and M. Ryan. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004, 1242-1246.

Jasen, David A. and Pramod K. Nayar. "Gender and Sexuality." Guides for the Perplexed: Postcolonialism. London: Bloomsbury, 2010. 101-133.

Lazarus, Neil. "'A Figure Glimpsed in a Rear-View Mirror': The Question of Representation in 'Postcolonial' Fiction." The Postcolonial Unconcious. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 114-160.

Mansfield, Nicholas. "The Free and Autonomous Individual." Subjectivity: Theories of the Self from Freud to Haraway. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2000, 13-24.

Marynowsky, Wade, Julian Knowles and Andrew Frost. "Robot opera: A Gesamtkunstwerk for the 21st Century." Cultural Robotics. New York: Springer, 2016. 143-158.

McKee, Alan. "Entertainment and Fun." Fun!: What Entertainment Tells Us About Living a Good Life. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. 11-28.

McLuhan, Marshall. "The Medium is the Message." Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964.

Modjeska, Drusilla. "The Informed Imagination." Meanjin Quarterly 74, no. 2 (2015).

Moffatt, Tracey. Nice Coloured Girls. 1987. (short film) Available from library through streaming service Kanopy.

Musa, Omar. Here Come the Dogs. New York: The New Press, 2016, 5-31.

Page, Ruth. "The Narrative Dimensions of Social Media Storytelling." The Handbook of Narrative Analysis. New York: Wiley Blackwell, 2015, 329-347.

Saricks, Joyce G. "Understanding the Appeal of Genre Fiction." The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction. Chicago: American Library Association, 2009. 1-9.

Vernay, Jean-Francois. "The Impossible Quest for Truth." The Seduction of Fiction. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016, 53-59.

Wilkins, Kim. "'I don't know who I am most of the time': Constructed Identity in Todd Haynes' I'm Not There." Film Criticism 41, no. 1 (2017): 1-24.


Abu-Shomar, Ayman M. "The Apparatus of Ideology: A Post-Colonial Reading of English Literature; Considerations from 'Institutional Literatures'." International Journal of Comparative Literature & Translation Studies 1, no. 2 (2013): 17-32.

Athans, Katrin. "White Shadows: The Gothic Tradition in Australian Aboriginal Literature." A Companion to Australian Aboriginal Literature. Edited by Belinda Wheeler. New York: Boydell & Brewer Group, 2013, 277-306.

Baker, Martin. "'Live at a Cinema Near You': How Audiences Respond to Digital Streaming of the Arts." The Audience Experience: A Critical Analysis of the Performing Arts. Ed. Jennifer Radbourne, Hilary Glow and Katya Johanson. Bristol, England; Chicago, Illinois: Intellect, 2013. 15-34.

Bandele, Biyi. Half of a Yellow Sun. 2013. (film) Available from library through streaming service Kanopy.

Barclay, Katie. "Composing the Self: Gender, Subjectivity and Scottish Balladry." Cultural and Social History 7, no. 3 (2010): 337-353.

Barnard, Josie. "Tweets as microfiction: on Twitter's live nature and 140-character limit as tools for developing storytelling skills." New Writing: International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing 13, no. 1 (2016): 3-16.

Baron, Cynthia. "Films by Tracy Moffatt: Reclaiming First Australians' Rights, Celebrating Women's Rites." Women's Studies Quarterly 30, no. 1/2 (2002): 151-177.

Bennett, Andrew and Nicholas Royle. "The Uncanny." An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. Harlow, England: Pearson Longman, 2004. 34-41.

Biber, Douglas, and Susan Conrad. "Registers, Genres and Styles: Fundamental Varieties of Language." Register, Genre and Style. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009, 1-28.

Browitt, Jeff. "The Difficulty in Burying the Dead: Claudia Hernandez's De fronteras." Contemporary Central American Fiction: Gender, Subjectivity and Affect. Portland, Oregon: Sussex Academic Press, 2018. 107-122.

Cixous, Helene. "The Laugh of the Medusa." Signs 1, no. 4 (1976): 875-893.

Clarke, John, Stuart Hall, Tony Jeggerson and Brian Roberts. "Subcultures, Cultures and Class." Resistance through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain. Ed. Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson. London: Hutchinson, 2006. 3-59.

Constancio, Joao, Maria Joao Mayer Branco and Bartholomew Ryan. "Introduction to Nietzsche and the Problem of Subjectivity." Nietzsche and the Problem of Subjectivity. Berlin, Germany; Boston, Massachusetts: De Gruyter, 2015. 1-45.

Deagnan, Cynthia C. "The Queer and the innocent: Rethinking Queer Theory's Child through JT LeRoy Literary Hoax." The Journal of Popular Culture 47, no. 4 (2014): 760-779.

Derrida, Jacques. "The Law of Genre." Critical Inquriy 7, no. 1 (1980): 55-81.

Deslandes, Jeanne. "A Philosophy of Emoting." Journal of Narrative Theory 34, no. 3 (2004): 335-372.

Djemai, Cheikh. Frantz Fanon, His Life, His Struggle, His Work. 2001, 53 minutes. [documentary] Available through the library streaming service Kanopy.

Docker, John. "The Frankfurt School versus Walter Benjamin." Postmodernism and Popular Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994, 36-50.

Finlay, Jeanie. The Great Hip Hop Hoax. 2013, 98 minutes. [documentary] Available through library from streaming service EduTV.

Friedman, Jane. "Defining Your Fiction Genre." Episode 2 of How To Publish Your Book. 2015, 27 minutes. Avaliable through library through Kanopy streaming service.

Ganapathy, Maya. "Sidestepping the Political 'Graveyard of Creativity': Polyphonic Narratives and Reenvisioning the Nation-State in Chimamanda Gozi Adichie's Half of Yellow Sun." Research in African Literature 47, no. 3 (2016): 88-105.

Gavaler, Chris. "Genre Apocalypse." Chronicle of Higher Education 61, no. 20 (2015): B13-B15.

Gelder, Kenneth. "The Chicago School and After: Sociology, Deviance and Social Worlds." Subcultures: Cultural Histories and Social Practice. London: Routledge, 2007.

Hamilton, Annette. "Machine Love and the Uncanny Object: A Children's Story." SCAN: A Journal of media arts culture 1, no. 2 (2004).

Harrison, Anthony Kwame. "Racial Authenticity in Rap Music and Hip Hop." Sociology Compass 2, no. 6 (2008): 1783-1800.

Heilbrun, James. "The Competition between High Culture and Popular Culture as Seen in the New York Times." Journal of Cultural Economics 21 (1997): 29-40.

Hersch, Charles B. "Music." Subversive Sounds: Race and the Birth of Jazz in New Orleans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014, 124-165.

Huggins, Jackie. "Writing My Mother's life." Hecate 17, no. 1 (1991): 88-94.

Jasen, David A. and Pramod K. Nayar. "Introduction: Postcolonial Thought." Guides for the Perplexed: Postcolonialism. London: Bloomsbury, 2010. 1-34.

Jenner, Mareike. "Genre, Cycles and Sunshine Noir Television." Journal of Popular Television 5, no. 2 (2017): 177-93.

Keshishian, Flora. "Hyper-capitalism, not the medium, is the message: Communication technologies and culture." Explorations in Media Ecology 12 (2013): 287-295.

Krims, Adam. "Rap Music and the Poetics of Identity." Literary Theory: An Anthology, 2nd edition. Edited by J. Rivkin and M. Ryan. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004, 1285-1309.

Leavis, F. R. "Mass Civilisation and Minority Culture." [1933] Cultural Theory and Popular Culture Reader. Ed. John Storey. Harlow, England: Pearson Education, 2009. 12-20.

Levine, Alan. "Experiments in Web Storytelling." Journal of Museum Education 36, no. 3 (2011): 249-360.

Lindsey, Kiera. "'Deliberate Freedom': Using Speculation and Imagination in Historical Biography." TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs 50 (2018): 1-16.

Lynge-Jorlen, Ane. "Between Frivolity and Art: Contemporary Niche Fashion Magazines." Fashion Theory 16, no. 1 (2012): 7-28.

McGushin, Edward. "Foucault's Theory and Practice of Subjectivity." Michel Foucault: Key Concepts. Edited by Dianna Taylor. Durham: Acumen, 2011, 127-142.

Meisel, Perry. "A History of High and Low." The Myth of Popular Culture from Dante to Dylan. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 3-52.

Mimura, Glen Masato. "Black Memories: Allegorizing the Colonial Encounter in Tracey Moffatt's beDevil." Quarterly Review of Film & Video 20 (2003): 111-123.

Monticone, Paul. "The Noir Western: Genre Theory and the Problem of the Anomolous Hybrid." Quarterly Review of Film and Video 31, no. 4 (2014): 336-349.

Muldoon, David. "The Postmodern Gender Divide in the Bob Dylan Biopic I'm Not There." Miscelanea: a journal of American and English studies 46 (2012): 53-70.

Nolan, Maggie and Carrie Dawson. "Who's Who? Mapping Hoaxes and Imposture in Australian Literary History." Who's Who? Hoaxes, Imposture and Identity Crises in Australian Literature. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 2004, v-xx.

O'Barr, William M. "High Culture/Low Culture: Advertising in Literature, Art, Film, and Popular Culture." Advertising & Society Review 7, no. 1 (2006).

O'Sullivan, Simon. "The Aesthetics of Affect." Angelaki 6, no. 3 (2001): 125-35.

Pierre, Mathieu. "Awake, or the Multiplication of the Realities Contemporary Television Series: Narrative Structures and Audience Perception." Critical Reflections On Audience and Narrativity. Ed. Valentina Marinescu, Bianca Mitu and Silvia Branea. Stuttgart, Germany: ibidem-Verlag, 2014. 27-34.

Poletti, Anna. "Coaxing an intimate public: Life narrative in digital storytelling." Continuum 25, no. 1 (2011): 73-83.

Rak, Julie. "Memoir, Truthiness, and the Power of Oprah." Prose Studies 34, no. 3 (2012): 224-242.

Sandke, Randall. "The Activist Jazz Writers." Where the Dark and the Light Meet: Race and the Mythology, Politics and Business of Jazz. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2010. 28-46.

Senzani, Allesandra. "Dreaming back: Tracey Moffatt's Bedeviling Films." Post Script 27, no. 1 (2007): 50-71.

Shultz, Daniela, Beate Schneider and Maik Zehrfeld. "'America's Favourite Serial Killer': Enjoyment of the TV Serial Dexter." Contemporary Television Series: Narrative Structures and Audience Perception. Ed. Valentina Marinescu, Silvia Branea and Bianca Mitu. Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014. 115-132.

Smith, Jeremy, Sanjay Talrej and Sut Jhally. Edward Said On Orientalism. 1998, 41 minutes. [documentary] Available through the library streaming service Kanopy.

Strehle, Susan. "Producing Exile: Diasporic Vision in Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun." Modern Fiction Studies 57, no. 4 (2011): 650-672.

Subotnik, Rose. "The Role of Ideology in the Study of Western Music." Journal of Musicology 2, no. 1 (1983): 1-12.

Terada, R. "Cogito and the History of the Passions." Feeling in Theory: Emotion After Death of the Subject. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2003, 16-47.

Thwaites, Tony, Lloyd Davis and Warwick Mules. "Ideology." Tools for Cultural Studies: An Introduction. South Melbourne: Macmillan Education, 1994. 155-171.

van Elferen, Isabella. "The Unthinkable Sounds of the Uncanny." Gothic Music: The Sounds of the Uncanny. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2017, 173-190.

Vernay, Jean-Francois. "The Art of Storytelling." The Seduction of Fiction: A Plea for Putting Emotions Back into Literary Interpretation. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016. 39-43.

Zender, Marc. "Medium and Message." Episode 23 of Writing and Civilization. 2013, 32 minutes. Available through library via Kanopy.