Theory For Writing

Subject CWRI40004 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment:



Admission to the Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) Honours, Postgraduate Diploma (Creative Writing), or Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


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:


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.


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.

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 in the examination period), a 2000 word creative work produced in response to the selected readings and class discussions 40% (due in the examination period), and participation in class discussions and an oral presentation 10% (during the semester). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% (or 10 out of 12) classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

Prescribed Texts:
  • Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory, P Barry, MUP, 1995.
  • The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, D Leitch et al (ed), W W Norton, 2001. (Readings from The Norton Anthology will be available online.)
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): Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Creative Writing
Creative Writing

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