Cultural Encounters: The Literature of Aotearoa New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Cultural Encounters: The Literature of Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Host University

    Victoria University of Wellington

  • Location

    Wellington, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    English, Literature, Pacific Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Much of the literature and theatre from, or about, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific is concerned with the encounters occurring within and between the region's various cultures. In this introductory course attention will be paid to the part that written, spoken, and performed narratives play in representing, and even shaping, such encounters. Students will be introduced to a range of concepts and will gain skills in criticism and academic writing. This year, Cultural Encounters will particularly emphasise literature in Aotearoa New Zealand, although some theatre will also be covered. The course will challenge assumptions about national and cultural identity, re-evaluating the place of national literature in a globalised age. We will use creative and critical methods to explore issues of culture, gender, genre and realism and how issues of culture, gender, genre and realism and how issues of identity and place continue to shape literature even after older accounts of national identity have been superseded.

    Learning Objectives
    Students who pass this course should be able to:
    1. Identify and consider how questions of place, nation and identity relate to the set texts.
    2. Articulate and support, through close reading, a personal and critical position on the relationship between their own identity and set texts.
    3. Present the results of research in an appropriately academic register, following specified
    conventions and with reference to appropriate critical sources.
    4. Demonstrate a substantial knowledge of the set texts and their major thematic concerns.

    Class test- 10%
    Critical essay- 25%
    Personal essay- 25%
    Exam- 40%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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