• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest English, Philosophy, Literature
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Russell Smith
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

This course provides a grounding in key historical and contemporary debates about the nature, purpose, methods and goals of literary study. Topics to be addressed may include: the challenges involved in situating texts in their historical contexts; the question of how texts generate a plurality of meanings beyond the limits of ‘authorial intention’; critical methods for analysing how texts encode or subvert ideas about class, race, gender and sexuality; the nature of textual representation and the relation between language and reality; the nature of literary genre and the role of reader expectation; the insights of book history into changing understandings of authorship, publication, reading and criticism; the impact of digital technologies on modes of literary circulation; and the use of new digital methods to examine literary production in ways that reshape traditional categories of text and author, and raise fundamental questions about originality and the archive. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate an in-depth appreciation of the role played by theories and methodologies in the ongoing reframing of literary study;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of key historical and contemporary concepts and debates in literary theory and methodology and their role in literary studies research; and
  3. evaluate, critically assess, and apply relevant theoretical arguments or methodological techniques to the analysis of literary texts or other literary artefacts.

Indicative Assessment

  1. (2500) word essay (45) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. (2500) word essay (45) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Brief critical analyses written in class (10) [LO 1,2]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of online tutorials.

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

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of English (ENGL) courses, or with permission of the convener. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed ENGL2009 or ENGL3008.

Prescribed Texts

To be advised on Wattle.


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
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $3960
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5820
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4247 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 In Person View

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