Genre Fiction/Popular Fiction

Subject ENGL30007 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

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: 2.5
Total Time Commitment: 102


Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 670-322 Genre Fiction/Popular Fiction
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 Disability Liaison Unit website:


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.


Student who complete this subject will:

  • 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. This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% attendance and regular participation in tutorials are required. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

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
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick)
  • The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien), Harper Collins
Recommended Texts:
  • Popular Fiction (Ken Gelder) Routledge
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:

  • 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 or 106-035 Genre Fiction/Popular Fiction are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English
English Literary Studies Major
English and Theatre Studies
Related Breadth Track(s): English

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