Australian Literature and History 1930 to 1990 - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP2 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Essay - Comparitive (35%) , Non-Invigilated Exam (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

Explore Australian writing between 1930 and the late 1990s in the context of the three great national crises of those years: The Great Depression; The Second World War; and The Ecological Crisis. In this unit you read a selection of novels, poetry and short stories by writers including Eleanor Dark, Patrick White, Kenneth Slessor, John Manifold and Katharine Susannah Prichard, Thea Astley and David Malouf. This unit examines the inter-relations between literary writing and reading, cultural institutions and political movements and ideologies in Australian history from the 1930s to 1990.

This unit examines the inter-relations between literary writing and reading, cultural institutions and political movements and ideologies in Australian history. We are interested in the ways in which literary intellectuals (novelists, poets, journalists, critics, editors, etc.) have been influenced by social and political movements, and how they have used literary and other forms of writing as ways of engaging in political struggles and cultural debates.

The unit thus encourages consideration of how literary texts are written and read in different historical and institutional contexts. In addition to learning about major cultural and political events and developments in Australia in the periods examined, you will be developing skills in the 'social reading' of literary texts. The main focus will be on reading and discussing an array of interesting and stimulating works of literature, and finding ways of relating them meaningfully to their social contexts.

  • Essay — Comparitive (35%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Online Discussion (25%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Note: Level 3 units normally assume a moderate level of prior knowledge in this area, eg from studying related Level 1 and 2 units or other relevant experience.

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

2Australian literature in the 1930s
3Australian literature and the Second World War
4The Patrick White phenomenon
5The ecological crisis

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission

Online materials

  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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