Genre Fiction/Popular Fiction

Subject ENGL30007 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 102-hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


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:


Prof 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.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • a familiarity with some important genres of popular fiction, and some representative examples of each genre;
  • an understanding of, and the ability to apply theoretical concepts of form, ideology and readership to popular novels and fan communities;
  • an understanding of the role of popular fiction in the broader field of cultural production.

One essay of 1500 words 40% (due mid semester) and a second essay of 2500 words 60% (due in the examination period). A class presentation will form the basis of one of the essays. This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. 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
  • Dead Until Dark, C Harris, Ace
  • Jurassic Park, M Crichton, Arrow
  • The Litigators, 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 Literary Studies Major
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies
Related Breadth Track(s): English

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