Genre Fiction/Popular Fiction

Subject 670-322 (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 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually 12.5 points of first year English, or fifty points of first year arts including at least 25 points from a specified list of subject areas for students completing a cultural studies major.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Ken Gelder


Ken Gelder

Subject Overview:

This subject takes popular fiction as a specific field of cultural production. Students will analyse various definitive features of that field: popular fiction's relations to 'literature', genre and identity, gender and sexuality, the role of the author profile, cinematic and TV adaptations, readerships and fan interests, and processing venues. The subject is built around a number of genres: crime fiction, science fiction, horror, romance, the 'sex and shopping' novel, the thriller and the blockbuster. On completion of the subject students should be familiar with some important genres of popular fiction, and some representative examples of each genre; and have a developed sense of the role of popular fiction in the broader field of cultural production.

  • be familiar with some important genres of popular fiction, and some representative examples of each genre;
  • understand and apply theoretical concepts of form, ideology and readership to popular novels and fan communities;
  • understand the role of popular fiction in the broader field of cultural production.

An exercise of 1000 words 25% (due early in semester), an essay of 1000 words 25% (due mid-semester) and an essay of 2000 words 50% (due at the end of semester). A class presentation will form the basis of one of the shorter essays. Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of tutorials in order to qualify to have their written work assessed.

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/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sir A Conan Doyle), Penguin
  • The War of the Worlds (H G Wells), Everyman
  • A Murder is Announced (A Christie), Harper Collins
  • Dr No (I Fleming), Penguin
  • The Stud (J Collins), Pan
  • Spellbound (N. Roberts), Jove
  • The Silence of the Lambs (T Harris), Mandarin
  • Jurassic Park (M Crichton), Arrow
  • The Firm (J Grisham), Arrow
  • The Golden Age (John C Wright)
  • The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien), Harper Collins
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:
  • 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;

  • communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and to others.


Students who have completed 106-035 Popular Fiction are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English
English Literary Studies Major

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