Modern and Contemporary Literature

Subject ENGL10001 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

1st year

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

106-102 Modern and Contemporary Literature

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Joe Hughes, Dr Sarah Balkin


Dr Joe Hughes

Dr Sarah Balkin

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to some of the key texts of modern and contemporary literature, across several genres: poetry, drama, the short story, the novel, and the filmscript. Modern and contemporary writers struggle with issues of representation, aesthetics and politics in an era of dramatic social change, and offer some intriguing reflections and meditations on the role of literature and the formation of literary tradition. This subject will explore the thematic and formal innovations of 20th century writing and some of the controversies and contexts of 20th century literature. Students will be encouraged to develop a critical framework for interpreting these texts in the light of current trends in literary criticism and critical theory. Students who successfully complete this subject will have a background of relevant knowledge and critical and interpretative skills on which to base further work in English Literary Studies.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • apply critical and analytical skills and methods to key texts and ideas in twentieth and twenty-first century literature;
  • demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of some of the thematic and formal innovations as well as the controversies and contexts of literature in the twentieth century and beyond;
  • demonstrate a general understanding of the concepts and principles of recent innovations in literary-critical methodology;
  • apply an independent approach to knowledge that uses rigorous methods of inquiry and appropriate methodologies that are applied with intellectual honesty and a respect for ethical values;
  • articulate the relationship between diverse forms of knowledge and the social, historical and cultural contexts that produced them;
  • acquire relevant research skills including use of the library, referencing and presentation of written work;
  • communicate effectively in a variety of oral and written formats;
  • work creatively, independently and reflectively to meet goals and challenges.

Written work of 4000 words comprising a text-based exercise of 800 words worth 20% (due early in semester), an essay of 1200 words worth 30% (due mid-semester) and an essay of 2000 words worth 50% (due in the examination period).

This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader including a selection of critical and secondary material will be available.

  • To the Lighthouse (Woolf)
  • The Waste Land (Eliot)
  • Waiting for Godot (Beckett)
  • Dubliners (Joyce)
  • After the quake (2000. trans 2002) (Murakami)
  • The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger)
  • Ariel (Plath)
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • be able to apply new research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • develop critical self-awareness and shape and strengthen persuasive arguments;
  • be able to communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and to others.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English and Theatre Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - English and Theatre Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - English and Theatre Studies
Related Breadth Track(s): English

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