Contemporary Australian Children's Literature - 2016

This unit contains mature content including Adult Themes, Nudity, Sex / Sexual References and Violence and may not be suitable for some students.
Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.
This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assignment - Learning Task (25%) , Essay - Final Essay (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit was previously known as ENG315 Contemporary Australian Children's Literature.

This unit examines the relationships between Australia's changing culture and society, and the literature that society produces for its children. It deals mainly with the literature of the past 20 years, and explores the representations of such issues as: maturation; relationships of self to place; structures of power and authority in society; and the quest for reconciliation between the white settler society and the Aboriginal peoples of Australia. These issues are examined in fiction, picture books, and film.

At the completion of this unit students will:

  1. have developed an understanding of and an ability to apply concepts employed in discussing and analysing relations between Australian culture and texts produced for children
  2. be able to conceptualise notions of high culture and popular culture and understand the orientation of literature to cultural presuppositions and forms
  3. have gained an understanding of the relationships between texts and the cultural construction of childhood and adolescence
  4. theorise concepts of gender representation and examine changing representations of gender in literature, film and drama
  5. understand theories of genre and examine prominent genres used in a range of texts written for children in Australia
  6. develop skills in textual and cultural analysis, especially the ability to analyse the extent to which texts attempt to intervene in cultural formations
  7. gain practical experience in utilising theoretical approaches to concepts such as transgression and alienation through textual analysis
  8. attain a conceptual language with which to discuss children’s film and television and gain an increased level of visual, verbal and critical literacy.
  • Assignment — Learning Task (25%)
  • Essay — Final Essay (40%)
  • Online Discussion (10%)
  • Paper — Seminar Paper (25%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • ENG315 — Contemporary Australian Children's Literature

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.

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Cultural production & criticism of Australian children's literature
2Glocalisation: the interplay between the global & local in Australian adolescent fiction and film
3Images of Australian childhood
4Society & setting in Australian picture books
5Fiction into other genres
6Australian children's television & constructions of Australian society
7Australian children's poetry
8Cultural change and transition
9Coming of age narratives in Australian children's literature
10Identity, youth culture & Aboriginality in Yolngu boy
11Social values & varieties of social transgressiveness
12(Re-)Gendering Australian texts
13Establishing contexts: historical fiction

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

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.

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