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ENL4001 Cultural Theory and Popular Culture

Semester 2, 2013 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities and Communication
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Lawrence Johnson
Moderator: David Akenson


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BAHN or BTAH or BVAH or BCAH or MSTA

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


This course equips students from a range of discipline backgrounds to develop advanced level skills in applying key approaches to cultural theory to their professional and academic careers.


The objective of this course is to study the history of theories of culture from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Issues studied include the relation between culture and society, with a particular emphasis on Australian Cultural Studies, art and commodity production, and the emergence of popular culture in industrial and post-industrial societies. The course caters to the interests of literature, creative arts, and students across a range of cognate disciplines. It has both a theoretical component and a strong applied component, illustrating the relevance of cultural theory to the analysis of literature, visual arts, popular music, fashion, film, television and other popular texts.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate understanding of the history of contemporary cultural theory and popular culture across a range of discipline areas;
  2. critically analyse theoretical texts in relation to key issues in contemporary culture and society;
  3. successfully articulate approaches to key issues in written modes appropriate to their discipline or field;
  4. identify and develop practical applications for cultural theory to instutions or professionals in their discipline or field.


Description Weighting(%)
1. History of Cultural Theory 33.00
2. Theoretical Orientations 33.00
3. Studying Cultural Forms 34.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • ENL4001 Cultural theory and popular culture: selected readings, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba. (available on Study Desk).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Bennet, T 1998, Culture: a reformer's science, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards.
  • Bennett, T & Carter, C (eds) 2001, Culture in Australia: policies, publics and programs, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Fiske, J 1991, Reading the popular, Routledge, London.
  • Frow, J 1995, Cultural studies and cultural values, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Storey, J (ed) 2006, Cultural theory and popular culture: a reader, 3rd edn, Prentice Hall, London.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Examinations 2.00
Online Discussion Groups 28.00
Private Study 134.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ON-LINE PARTICIPATION 100 20 19 Jul 2013 (see note 1)
REPORT - 2000 WORDS 100 30 19 Jul 2013 (see note 2)
2000 WORD RESEARCH PAPER 100 30 25 Oct 2013
2 HOUR EXAMINATION 100 20 End S2 (see note 3)

  1. Online Participation is graded weekly on evidence of preparation and quality of written contribution to online discussions.
  2. The REPORT involves leading on-line discussion on a chosen topic, and a written report on a fictional scenario based on this discussion must be submitted two weeks later. The date will be advised after consultation with students.
  3. Students will be advised of exam dates when the timetable has been finalised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    An open examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.