Life Writing

Subject CWRI40006 (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 (Honours) (Creative Writing), Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours) (Creative Writing), Postgraduate Diploma (Creative Writing) or Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: None


Prof Kevin Brophy


Kevin Brophy

Subject Overview:

This subject explores a variety of life narratives including letters, biographies and memoirs from various periods and cultures including contemporary Australian examples. Students will read from texts about theoretical approaches which explore the nature of memory, questions of subjectivity and self-representation as well as the ethical dimensions of writing about the lives of others. The subject will involve applied writing in workshops including exercises in various styles and approaches to autobiography.


Students completing this subject will:

  • be able to engage with the theoretical and creative aspects of the variety of life narratives such as memoir, biography and letters;
  • be able to articulate informed views on recent developments in the fields of life writing, including aspects of memory, subjectivity and ethical responsibility; and
  • be able to produce to a high level writing, both creative and theoretical, in selected areas of life writing.
Assessment: An essay of 2000 words which engages with one or more of the theoretical considerations within the field of autobiography 40% (due in week 8), a piece of the student's own autobiographical writing totalling 3,000 words 50% (due at end of semester), regular attendance and participation in tutorials and workshops is required and the maintenance of a Reading Journal, recording class exercises and reading 10% (due at end of semester).
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: Students successfully completing this subject will:
  • be able to apply advanced analytical and critical skills to written texts;
  • have the ability to complete written tasks to an advanced level of literacy and communication;
  • be able to plan and develop their own work; and
  • be able to work effectively with others while respecting individual differences.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Creative Arts(Honours)
Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Creative Writing
Creative Writing

Download PDF version.