Theory For Writing

Subject CWRI40004 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, 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
Total Time Commitment: 120
Prerequisites: Admission to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) Honours, Postgraduate Diploma, or Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: None


Dr Elizabeth Macfarlane


Elizabeth MacFarlane

Subject Overview:

A survey of critical, philosophical and theoretical writing relating to issues of creativity and the creative process. Texts from, for instance, Derrida, Lacan, Freud, Foucault, Kristeva, Cixous, Barthes, Althusser, Tompkins and others will be discussed. The relation between critical schools of thought and students' own creative work will be explored.

Objectives: Students completing this subject will:
  • be able to engage with the possible relations betwen critical theory, philosophy and creative writing;
  • be able to show they are informed regarding recent and current debates and schools of thought related to creative writing; and
  • be able to write both analytically and creatively in response to theoretical texts.
Assessment: A 3000 word essay developed in response to the selected readings, addressing a question related to the students' own creative process, or more general issues in the production of creative writing 50% (due end of semester), a 2000 word creative work produced in response to the selected readings and class discussions 40% (due end of semester), and participation in class discussions and an oral presentation 10% (throughout the semester). 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.

  • Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory (P Barry, 1995) Manchester: MUP
  • The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (D Leitch et al (ed) 2001) New York: W W Norton
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Students who successfully complete this subject will:
  • be able to engage in debates and discussion in a group setting;
  • be able to produce an interplay of theory and practice in written work; and
  • be able to devise questions, analyse schools of thought and develop creative projects.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Creative Arts(Honours)
Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Creative Writing
Creative Writing

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