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Melancholy and the Sweetness of Sorrow (ARTS90001)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 6.25On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeARTS90001
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Melancholy is an affliction associated with fear and fertility, madness and genius, manic creativity and aphasic stupor. A "sacred disease", from its original diagnosis in antiquity, melancholy has been characterised throughout history by its deep ambiguity and by the breadth of its influence over a range of expressions of thought and art. This subject will explore the different meanings of melancholy, from antiquity to the present day, in four major creative fields: literature, film, music and visual art. Taught by internationally published and recognised experts on the topic, this subject will involve students in rigorous discussion and analysis of core written, visual and music texts. Participation in the subject will engage students in preparatory reading, an expert-guided floor talk at the National Gallery of Victoria, a film screening and a music master class. Student familiarity with one or more of the four fields is desirable but by no means essential.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should have:

  • enhanced knowledge of the topic or area of scholarship taught in the module;
  • an ability to reflect upon their own research work in relation to the content of the module; and
  • enhanced engagement with leading-edge research in particular areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences today.

Generic skills

The subjects will contribute, through teaching and discussion with academic staff and peers, to developing skills and capacities including those identified in the University-defined Graduate Attributes for the PhD, in particular:

  • the capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge;
  • an advanced ability to engage in critical reflection, synthesis and evaluation of research-based and scholarly literature; and
  • an advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field.

Last updated: 9 November 2018