Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Tobias Heinrich checkmark-circle


This module is a companion to HUMA4001 The Wild as it explores complementary ideas and concepts of the relationship between the home and the wild. They can be taken individually or together.

Drawing on perspectives across Arts & Humanities, the module explores the multiple notions of Home. On the one hand, the ancient Greek noun oikos, referring to the home and household, becomes the prefix eco, the root of economy and ecology. Domus, on the other hand, the Latin word for home, is present in the English words domestic and domesticated, standing in opposition to notions of the wild and uncivilised.

Some of the questions that will be explored in this module are therefore: What is the Home? What are its borders? What distinguishes Home from House? What are the artistic, social, political, geographical, psychological, philosophical and environmental implications of the Home in the contemporary world?

As an approach to interdisciplinary thinking in Arts & Humanities, the module responds to the original vision of the University of Kent to teach beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines, themselves 'Homes' of thought. The module tackles big questions and global challenges by bringing a variety of perspectives and methodologies into fruitful dialogue. For example, how does architectural design reflect Home as physical and social spatial entity embodied in the cultural landscape? Can migration and nationhood be approached with reference to ancient Greek and Roman concepts of the Home and the household, domesticity, hospitality and duty? Questions of the environment and ecology consider the tension between individual and collective Home, and the conflict of responsibilities. Questions of economy and economics – the management of the Home and the household – are explored through literary and cultural texts that condition our understanding of growth, possessions, surplus, and the distribution of wealth. The experience of the pandemic has raised our awareness for the ways in which homes become increasingly 'public' and 'professional' places, with more and more people working from home, but also enjoying art and entertainment at home rather than in galleries and theatres. At the same time, for most of the modern age, the home has been a space of work for women, often unpaid and rarely recognized. Finally, this module will consider our prime site of belonging: our body as Home and the ways in which artists and thinkers have responded to this idea.


Contact hours

Private Study: 130
Contact Hours: 20
Total: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Public engagement project (1,000 word equivalent) 40%
Essay (2,000 words) 60%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework (2,000 words essay)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

Indicative Reading List

Witold Rybczynski, Home: a short history of an idea (New York: Penguin, 1987)
Plato, The Symposium, (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2001), lines 189c-193d, 199c-212b
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, Part V "Situation" (London, Everyman's Library, 1993)
Arne Naess, Ecology, community and lifestyle (Cambridge: CUP, 2009)
Christopher Reed (ed.), Not at Home: suppression of domesticity in modern art and architecture (London: Thames & Hudson, 1996)
Kath Shonfield, Walls have Feelings: architecture, film and the city (London: Routledge, 2000)
Johannes von Moltke, No Place Like Home: Locations of Heimat in German Cinema (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2005)
Chinua Achebe, Home and exile (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2003).
Andrew Gurr, Writers in Exile: The Identity of Home in Modern Literature (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1981)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Engage with multiple and complex meanings of the term home, house, household and homeland;
2 Demonstrate an understanding of various disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches across the arts and humanities to the concept of 'home';
3 Demonstrate an awareness for the ways in which interdisciplinary thinking expands and deepens our understanding and appreciation of cultural phenomena in relation to the notion of home;
4 Think critically about the meaning of home from historical and contemporary, interdisciplinary and transcultural perspectives and communicate your ideas to an audience.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Analyse cultural phenomena as appropriate, using up-to-date theoretical frameworks and relating works to the relevant socio-historical context;
2 Use a range of established techniques to carry out independent analysis and research on cultural phenomena and present their findings;
3 Demonstrate critical thinking skills;
4 Undertake independent research in the library, using appropriate academic databases online;
5 Synthesise and evaluate information from a number of sources, deploying key techniques from their own and neighbouring disciplines.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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