ENGLISH 102/102G : Great Books: Seduction and Betrayal


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Surveys a selection of literary masterpieces by major authors from different periods in the history of English literature. Selection of texts is organised around the theme of seduction and betrayal, understood more particularly as a story-arc exploring attitudes to love and sex, to politics and ambition, to ethical conduct, and to the activity of reading itself.

Course Overview

Great Books: Seduction and Betrayal examines a selection of exciting and influential works from different periods in the history of English literature. It is loosely organised around the theme of seduction and betrayal, a basic type of story found all over the world. The stories selected for this course explore attitudes to love and sex, to politics and ambition, to right conduct, and to the business and pleasure of reading itself. The modes of seduction and betrayal these stories offer their characters—and their readers—will be a central question of the course.

This course is for people who enjoy reading. Students will broaden their experience of imaginative writing, learn to read more attentively, think more carefully, and write more interestingly about what they read.

Reading is a fundamental and powerful transferrable skill. We read for information, for relaxation, and many other purposes, but we also behave as readers in response to difficult and delicate real-world situations. When we bring creative reading skills to great imaginative literature, we develop our ability to read more closely, with increased intelligence, empathy, and critical awareness.

As with all ‘great books’ courses, a further aim is to broaden cultural, historical and literary knowledge. The works we read have rich histories of interpretation and offer many avenues for discussion. The assessment for the course offers the opportunity to reflect on your personal habits and practices as a reader, to learn about different approaches to reading, and to develop and express your views in persuasive and well-organised essays.

We begin by looking at some aspects of the history and variety of reading, including the introduction of the different ‘voices’ of our lecturers as they consider the opening passages of the works they have chosen for the class. Over the semester, each of these lecturers will explore how their chosen work is put together, how it achieves its effects, and the ways in which it creates the ‘world’ of its characters, beckons you into that world, and asks you to experience and evaluate it.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Arts

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Apply close-reading skills to works in different genres and periods. (Capability 1.1 and 1.2)
  2. Relate texts about seduction and betrayal to a critical understanding of their rhetoric, their interpretive history, and to current discussions of gender and power. (Capability 2.2 and 2.3)
  3. Develop and demonstrate an awareness of how complex issues to do with power and gender have been treated in texts from the middle ages to the beginning of the twentieth century. (Capability 3.1)
  4. Articulate and discuss ideas in group work and essay writing. (Capability 4.1 and 4.2)
  5. Build the capacity for students to become lifelong learners/readers through a careful selection of texts that will challenge and extend existing reading skills. (Capability 5.2)
  6. Encounter, reflect, and learn from culturally different, historically diverse, and ethically complex texts. (Capability 6.3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Quizzes 5% Individual Coursework
Essay 10% Individual Coursework
Essay 10% Individual Coursework
Essay 25% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of lectures, a 1 hour tutorial, 5 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 2 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation (per week).

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

This course  is not available for delivery to students studying remotely outside NZ in 2023.

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including tutorials to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

This course is not available for delivery to students studying remotely outside NZ in 2023.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Lord Byron, Don Juan Canto 1 (provided online)
Geoffrey Chaucer, 'The Miller’s Tale' (from Canterbury Tales) (provided online)
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Kate Chopin, The Awakening
William Shakespeare, Richard III
Selected poets, 'Poems of seduction and betrayal' (provided online)

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

No feedback received as yet

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Well-being always comes first
We all go through tough times during the semester, or see our friends struggling. There is lots of help out there - for more information, look at this Canvas page https://canvas.auckland.ac.nz/courses/33894, which has links to various support services in the University and the wider community.

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 15/10/2022 02:13 p.m.