Radical Fiction

Subject 106-371 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2.5-hour workshop per week.
Total Time Commitment: .

Usually 12.5 points of first year creative writing.

Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Mr Grant Caldwell


Grant Caldwell
email: cal@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject will examine radical practice in creative writing, using techniques such as fragmentation, pastiche, cut-up, sampling, parody etcetera, in order to recognise the ways radical narrative can critique and subvert dominant cultural regimes. Through the reading and discussion in these ares, and through drafting and exercises, students will be expected to produce their own radical work.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject should...
  • have extended their repertoire of narrative writing techniques and thus show greater flexibility as inventive writers, even if they subsequently favour more mainstream contemporary narrative forms;
  • be able to demonstrate in their experimental work, and in their critical commentary on it, a greater understanding of the politics of identity;
  • be able to demonstrate that formal experimentation with narrative can be a potent mode of resistance to dominant cultural regimes;
  • be able to see how narrative contestation can be linked to gender, class, ethnic and socio-economic formations;
  • be aware of feminist and queer challenges to the dominant narrative modes associated with patriarchal capitalist societies;
  • be able to demonstrate through their experimentation how many aspects of identity are produced through performance, IE brought into being through cultural inscription;
  • be able to appreciate that ‘subjectivity’, like the text itself, is a ‘tissue of quotations’ and that producing new textual and narrative modes brings new forms of ‘subjectivity’ into play;
  • produce genuinely innovative works of fiction.
Assessment: A 3000 word radical narrative (plus a 250 word introduction discussing the conception and development of the work: this is mandatory but not marked as part of the assessment). Due at the end of the semester. 70% ; An essay of 1000 words examining at least one article and one piece of writing from the reader. 20%; Participation in seminars, including at least one opening presentation for discussion. 10%. Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Recommended Texts:


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:
  • have engaged with critical reading with a view to radical experimentation in narrative possibilities;

  • have extended their repertoire of innovative techniques;

  • recognise the ethical and political effects of specific modes of textual experimentation;

  • have translated a critical perspective on the aesthetics of mainstream Âliterary publishing into highly innovative alternative writing practices;

  • be able to communicate orally to others the concepts explored in their artistic project and engage their interest.


This subject is available to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Creative Arts students and may be credited towards a major in Creative Writing in either course.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Creative Arts
Diploma in Creative Arts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Creative Writing
Creative Writing Major

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