• Offered by School of Philosophy
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest Philosophy
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Carleton Christensen
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

Major contemporary thinkers who write a form of social critique based in the continental tradition assume as background a wide knowledge of key thinkers and intellectual movements. One such figure is Judith Butler, whose important and influential work on gender, the body, and subject-formation, as well as her innovative engagements with themes in moral and political philosophy, draws on many rich sources including deconstruction, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, existentialism and Frankfurt school critical theory. This course aims to place Butler's work in context in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of its aims and achievements. We will read a selection of Butler's texts alongside short readings from a range of influences that include Beauvoir, Foucault, Hegel, Nietzsche, Derrida, Adorno, Benjamin, Levinas and Freud. 


The format of the course is seminar style, with students expected to contribute substantively to the discussion each week. Where possible, students are recommended to also take PHIL 2059, Love, Death and Freedom. This will enhance appreciation of some key themes in French philosophy touched upon in this course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Show intellectual discrimination - the ability to pick out key points and to construct an argument/interpretation.
  2. Show a philosophical understanding of the text selected for study in the course, including: appreciation of and ability to engage with the key arguments; awareness of the philosophers and issues this work is responding to; and familiarity with some of the arguments that critics of the work have made.
  3. Discuss ideas verbally and to engage in interactive dialogue about them.




Other Information

For Philosophy Honours either Advanced Continental Philosophy Advanced Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy or Advanced Analytic Philosophy is required.

Indicative Assessment

Short Critical Analysis 1200 words (25%) [Assesses Learning Outcomes 1, 2]

Final essay 3000 words (55%) [Assesses Learning Outcomes 1,2]

Class Presentation 500 words (10%) [Assesses Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]

Tutorial performance (10%) [Assesses Learning Outcome 3]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Two hours per week of lectures and 12 tutorials.  Students are expected to undertake approximately 7 hours of independent study each week.



Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 Units of 2000 or 3000 level Philosophy (PHIL) Courses which includes one of the following: PHIL2002 or PHIL2059 or PHIL2097 or PHIL2089; or by permission of course convenor.

Preliminary Reading

* Critchley, S.,Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1164
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3132
2006 $3132
2005 $3132
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3608 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

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