Contemporary Literature - 2018

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1
  • Availability for 2018: Sem1
  • Assessment: Assignment - Criticism in Public (50%) , Essay - Short Research Essay (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 809.00
HECS 820.00
International 1,059.00
This unit explores the role of literature in the twenty-first century. It focuses on how writing in a range of genres participates in contemporary debates and controversies, including discussions over race, globalisation, terrorism, climate change, ethics, and other major contemporary issues. We will consider how the circumstances in which literature is written affect how writers engage in these debates, looking at the influence of creative writing programmes, digital media, and literary celebrity.

Students are expected to:

1. Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research

2. Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
3. Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
4. Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
5. Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing
  • Assignment — Criticism in Public (50%)
  • Essay — Short Research Essay (30%)
  • Participation — Forum Participation (20%)

Mandatory prerequisites

You must have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit:

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Institutions of Literature (Weeks 1-3)
2The Burden of History (Weeks 4-6)
3Global Movements (Weeks 7-9)
4Poetry and Disaster (Weeks 10-12)
5Essay Workshop (Week 13)

Each unit offered through OUA provides students with unit information that includes assessment topics and due dates, policy information and contact numbers for university support and academic staff. Study materials will also clearly outline each week's topic, readings, student activities and the format of all assessment.

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation 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.

Enquire online

Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
Make an online enquiry.

Enquire now

Ready to enrol?

Start studying this unit now.


Got a question?

Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.