Radical Fiction

Subject CWRI30011 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - 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

On Campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2.5 A 2.5-hour workshop per week
Total Time Commitment: 102
Prerequisites: Completion of at least 12.5 points at second year in creative writing.
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 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 3Disability Liaison Unit website: 4http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Mr Grant Caldwell


Grant Caldwell
email: cal@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject will examine the concept of radical fiction in creative writing in order to recognise the ways radical fiction can critique and subvert dominant cultural regimes. Through reading and discussion in these areas, and through drafting and exercises, students will be expected to produce their own radical work.


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 work, and in their critical commentary on it, a greater understanding of the possibilities of fiction;
  • be able to demonstrate that formal experimentation in fiction can be a potent mode of resistance to dominant cultural regimes;
  • be aware of challenges to the dominant narrative modes;
  • be able to demonstrate through their radical writing how many aspects of identity are produced 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 may bring new forms of ‘subjectivity’ into play;
  • produce arguably radical works of fiction.
Assessment: A 3000 word work or segment of radical fiction (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 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 from the University Bookshop.

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

  • have extended their repertoire of innovative narrative possibilities;

  • recognise the ethical and political effects of specific modes of radical texts;

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

  • be able to effectively communicate to others the concepts explored in their creative project.


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
Graduate Diploma in Creative Arts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Creative Writing
Creative Writing
Creative Writing Major

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