The Dialogic Imagination in Context

Subject CWRI40012 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment:



Admission to the Bachelor of Arts Honours (Creative Writing), postgraduate certificate in arts and postgraduate diploma in arts (creative writing), or the Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing.



Recommended Background Knowledge:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Not offered in 2012
Non Allowed Subjects:


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:


Dr Amanda Johnson


Amanda Johnson

Subject Overview:

This subject will introduce students to advanced dialogic techniques in relation to a range of genres including short story, novel and script.

The exploration of the mechanics of dialogue will be cast against the historical evolution of modern and postmodern modes of dialogue so that students will also understand how dialogue has been shaped by genre and the socio-political and cultural contexts from which key genres have arisen. For assessment, students will develop practical work comprising a short script, a full-length short story or a series of ‘short’ short stories. They will also produce a comparative critique of modes of dialogue used by authors included in the subject reader. They will workshop their creative project, participate in improvisational exercises, and provide written and verbal editorial feedback to fellow students.


Students who complete this subject should be able to:

  • demonstrate a range of dialogue skills and apprehension of dialogue writing conventions applicable to a range of professional creative writing genres;
  • demonstrate an advanced ability to solve problems in the field of dialogue driven writing genres and apply new skills to their creative work;
  • demonstrate an understanding of histories of written dialogue and how 'dialogic work' carries on a continual dialogue with other works of literature and other authors; and
  • demonstrate not just a 'wonderful ear for dialogue' but a wonderful mind for dialogue.

Comparative critique of two writers working in the same genre, 1500 words (20%) due mid-semester; class paper, equivalent to 500 words (10%) presented during the semester; creative work of either short fiction or script, 3000 words (70%) due at the end of the semester. Attendance and participation are a requirement and students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to submit their written work for assessment. All written assessment must be completed in order to pass the subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension or special consideration will be penalised at the rate of 2% per day.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available from the University Bookshop.

  • Bakhtin, M. M., The Bakhtin Reader: Selected Writings of Bakhtin, Medvedev, Voloshnikov. Ed. Pam Morris, Edward Arnold, London, 1994
  • Smith, Hazel, The Writing Experiment, Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest, Sydney, 2001
Recommended Texts:
  • Wood, James, How Fiction Works, Farrar Strauss and Giroux, New York, 2008
  • Wood, James, The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel, Farrar Strauss and Giroux, New York, 2004
  • Freeman, John, New Performance/new writing, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2007
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:

  • have acquired a capacity for critical analysis through engagement and critique of a range of creative writing genres;
  • demonstrate advanced skills in peer workshopping and self-editing;
  • demonstrate a capacity to work consistently and independently at an advanced level on a self-devised project;
  • demonstrate a capacity to participate in a project requiring team-work and contributions to the progress of others; and
  • demonstrate advanced skills in peer workshopping and self-editing.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Creative Writing
Creative Writing
Creative Writing

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