• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, English, Gender Studies, Digital Humanities, Literature More...
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

Whether you are watching 'Game of Thrones' on television, downloading the latest episode to your laptop of or discussing it or any other 'longform' series on social media, you are engaging with a narrative form that dominates the contemporary mediascape. ‘Televisual’ invites you to explore the significance of ‘narrative television’ and its impact on how stories are produced and received today. We will do so through closely reading a selection of case studies, moving from the 1950s' 'I Love Lucy' through to 'The Simpsons', 'Twin Peaks' and to a contemporary film that is arguably inspired by contemporary televisual media (Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood'). In doing so, we will engage with some of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries’ most important theorists of television narrative (including Raymond Williams and Marshall McLuhan). Beginning with television’s first emergence in the 1950s, we will consider the various ways in which television has been produced, transmitted and received. Our investigation will move from television's reliance on studio recording to thinking about the importance of live and cable broadcasting and, more recently, the role of digital devices that can stream or download content. We will ask questions about what makes televisual storytelling distinct and whether or not television has influenced the development of other forms (including novels and films). The course will conclude with our looking at how television has transformed in the contemporary era of so-called convergent or ‘connexionist’ media. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. identify and closely analyse distinctive generic and/or formal elements of television narrative;
  2. draw on and apply relevant theory and critical debate to analysis of television narrative;
  3. read, write and argue effectively about the emergence and development of television narrative in the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries; and
  4. develop a critical stance on the role that televisual forms play in representing contemporary screen culture as well as imagining and shaping that culture.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Weekly 'media concept' comprehension test (15) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. 2 x 'media concept' critical assessments (750 words each) (35) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Major comparative essay (2500 words) (50) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact: 36 hours of combined lectures/tutorials.

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ENGL6116

Prescribed Texts


Assumed Knowledge

First-year ENGL and/or First-year FILM

Areas of Interest

  • Cultural Studies
  • English
  • Gender Studies
  • Digital Humanities
  • Literature
  • Film


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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