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The Australian Imaginary (ENGL20009)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeENGL20009
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The sense of national literature formed quite soon in colonial Australia, which saw a remarkable level of literary activity across a range of genres. This subject looks at what a national literature means, and how it makes itself significant to the nation and beyond. It will think about colonialism and colonial writing in Australia, modes of Australian social realism, the emergence of an Australian modernism, ways of representing region, suburb and city, postcolonialism in Australia, 'multicultural' writing, and Indigenous literature. The focus is on the novel, short stories, poetry and genres such as romance and the Gothic.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of representative examples of Australian literature;
  • articulate the relationship between selected Australian literary works and the social, historical and cultural contexts that produced them;
  • apply high-level analysis, conceptual sophistication and critical thinking to the study of Australia literature and the debates it has provoked;
  • contribute to the understanding of Australian literature in ways that engage the interests of the discipline of literary studies;
  • communicate effectively an understanding of Australian literature and its contexts in both written and oral formats; and
  • have gained an understanding of how to act as critically informed participants within a community of literature scholars, as citizens and in the work force at large.

Generic skills

At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following genric skills:

  • be able to apply new research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • develop critical self-awareness and the capacity to shape and strengthen persuasive arguments; and
  • communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and to others.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects

106-046 Wild Writing: The Australian Imaginary

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • One essay of 1,500 words (40%), due during the semester
  • One essay of 2,500 words, (60%), due in the examination period
  • A class presentation is also a course requirement; this will consist either of work towards one of the essays, or a critical account of the primary and/or secondary reading material for a given week.
  • Hurdle: This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. All assessment tasks must be submitted in order to pass this subject.

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursTotal 30 hours: a 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period26 February 2018 to 27 May 2018
    Last self-enrol date 9 March 2018
    Census date31 March 2018
    Last date to withdraw without fail 4 May 2018
    Assessment period ends22 June 2018

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

Last updated: 10 April 2019