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Thinking Writing: Theory and Creativity (CWRI40004)

HonoursPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelHonours
Subject codeCWRI40004
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject explores the relationship between critical theory and creative writing. We read critical, philosophical and theoretical texts relating to issues of creativity and the creative process by seminal theorists such as Kristeva, Foucault, Cixous, and Derrida. We also read a selection of texts that blur the boundary between critical and creative writing, and the creative work of authors such as Duras, Calvino, Zadie Smith, and Barthelme to examine the way these texts might put theory into practice. The relation between critical schools of thought and students' own creative work will be investigated.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  • engage with the possible relations betwen critical theory, philosophy and creative writing;
  • show they are informed regarding recent and current debates and schools of thought related to creative writing; and
  • write both analytically and creatively in response to theoretical texts.

Generic skills

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

  • 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.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


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


Additional details

  • A 2,500 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 2,000 word creative work produced in response to the selected readings and class discussions (40%), due in the examination period
  • Participation in class discussions and an oral presentation, equivalent to 500 words (10%), due 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.

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    CoordinatorEddie Paterson
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursTotal 30 hours: a 2-hour seminar per week
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    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.)
  • Subject notes

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

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    Subject coordinator approval required

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 30 May 2019