Literature and Performance

Subject ENGL10002 (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 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

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:

106-109 Literature and Performance

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 David Mcinnis


Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to a variety of literary and performance texts, focusing on distinct but interconnected ways of understanding the two forms. It will study different historical periods and different genres to investigate how textuality and performativity develop and reflect different ways of thinking about identity. Working at the intersections of text, performance and culture, we will examine changing models of self representation from the early modern period to the late 19th century. Shakespearean tragedy develops highly influential modern forms of subjectivity, which see the individual emerge from social distinctions of status and gender and through new forms of representation. The Romantic lyric is designed to produce a revolutionary individuality from the poetically renewed resources of a common language. The mid-19th century realist novel perfects both a new form of writing and a new mode of subjectivity out of the materials of its dramatic and poetic predecessors. European theatre at the end of the 19th century reinvigorates the English tradition and rewrites the conventions of realism. Along with historical and generic concepts, we will also examine the constitutive role of ideas of gender and power in both text and performance. Students who successfully complete this subject will have a detailed understanding of the themes and forms of a range of key texts, and a methodological introduction to further work in English and Theatre Studies.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • the ability to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the material conditions and performance traditions of Renaissance, Romantic and realist literary texts;
  • the ability to work independently to develop and effectively communicate understandings of complex literary material and criticism;
  • apply critical and analytical skills unique to English and Theatre to the representation of subjectivity and the self within complex and changing historical contexts;
  • articulate the relationship between diverse forms of knowledge and the social, historical and cultural contexts that produced them, including a detailed understanding of selected plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries; of selected poems by the Romantics, and of selected novels and plays of the 19th century.

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 will be available.

  • W Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Oxford Worlds Classics
  • W Shakespeare, Othello, Oxford Worlds Classics
  • D Lynch and J Stillinger, eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature Volume D: The Romantic Period, Norton
  • J Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Oxford Worlds Classics
  • C Dickens, Great Expectations, Oxford Worlds Classics
  • C Bronte, Jane Eyre, Oxford Worlds Classics
  • H Ibsen, A Doll’s House (Four Major Plays), Oxford Worlds Classics
  • A Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard (Five Plays), Oxford Worlds Classics
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:

  • acquire skills in the following areas: research: through competent use of library, and other (including online) information sources; through the successful definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research;
  • critical thinking and analysis: through use of recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion; through the questioning of accepted wisdom and the ability to shape and strengthen persuasive judgments and arguments; through attention to detail in reading material; and through openness to new ideas and the development of critical self-awareness;
  • theoretical thinking: through use of recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion; through a productive engagement with relevant methodologies and paradigms in literary studies and the broader humanities;
  • creative thinking: through essay writing and tutorial discussion; through the innovative conceptualising of problems and an appreciation of the role of creativity in critical analysis;
  • social, ethical and cultural understanding: through use of recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion; through the social contextualisation of arguments and judgments; through adaptations of knowledge to new situations and openness to new ideas; through the development of critical self-awareness in relation to an understanding of other cultures and practices;
  • intelligent and effective communication of knowledge and ideas: through essay preparation, planning and writing as well as tutorial discussion; through effective dissemination of ideas from recommended reading and other relevant information sources; through clear definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research; through confidence to express ideas in public forums.

Students who have completed 106-109 Shakespeare’s Theatre or 106-109 Literary Self Fashioning are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

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): Theatre Studies

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