This course investigates a diversity of texts—which may include literary texts, plays, films, and graphic novels—from the nineteenth century to the present, in order to examine the different “truth claims” that these texts make, and the different ways that they purport to represent reality. Such texts inevitably confront questions of gender, sexuality, race and class, and often seek to address issues of inequality, exploitation and injustice. This course prompts students to examine the relation between reality and its narrative representation by asking questions such as: What are the different techniques for evoking a “reality effect” in the realist novel, naturalist drama, historical fiction, documentary film, autobiography, biofiction or memoir? What are the social and political claims characteristic of narrative modes such as realism, naturalism, biography and autobiography, testimony and memoir? How have writers sought to position the truth claims of these modes among other competing modes and genres of literary, dramatic and film narrative? How have the truth claims of these modes been assessed and judged in the public sphere?
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- demonstrate knowledge of key authors and texts in literary modes such as realism, naturalism, historical fiction, testimony and autobiography;
- demonstrate an understanding of key debates about the claims to truth or authenticity of various fictional and non-fictional literary modes and genres;
- critically analyse realist texts, including the relation between different narrative forms and their truth claims; and
- demonstrate an understanding of the broad cultural and historical contexts behind the various literary and artistic realist movements.
- (2000 word) Essay (45) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- (2000 word) Essay or equivalent creative response (45) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Brief critical analyses written in class (10) [LO 1,2]
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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 tutorials; b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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.
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.