Writing the Unconscious

Subject 760-513 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - 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-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week, 8 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: None
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: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Elizabeth Catherine Macfarlane


Subject Overview: This subject explores the implications of theories of the self and the unconscious for contemporary writers. Work from the late 19th Century, the Modernist period and contemporary Postmodern literature will be surveyed along with theoretical writing on the nexus between issues of identity and creative practice. Questions of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and power will be examined through the writings of Foucault, Freud, Cixous, Kristeva and other writers. The discovery and elaboration of ideas about the unconscious and its role in the modern construction of the artist and in the creative process for artists and writers will be examined through student presentations, seminars and lectures.
  • be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the area of theorising the self;
  • be able to demonstrate a capacity to articulate their knowledge and understanding in oral and written presentations;
  • be able to show an advanced understanding of the international context for their own creative work.
Assessment: A tutorial discussion paper of no more than 500 words 20% (due in individually assigned weeks); creative writing responding to set readings - 4000 words or equivalent and a 500 word reflective statement 70% (final draft due end of semester). Regular attendance, including participation in exercises and workshopping is expected 10%.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to read complex texts;
  • be able to demonstrate expertise in combining writing and theory;
  • be able to demonstrate the ability to experiment with narrative structure;
  • be able to demonstrate critical reading and analysis;
  • develop presentation skills;
  • be able to apply theory to practice.
Related Course(s): Master of Creative Writing (Coursework and Minor Thesis)
Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
Master of Publishing and Communications

Download PDF version.