• Class Number 2396
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Monique Rooney
    • Dr Monique Rooney
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

There are many different ways to ‘read’ texts. Some of the most exciting contemporary debates concern not just what to read, but how and why. In the process, the meanings of ‘reading’ and ‘text’ have been thrown wide open, and these meanings have ramifications for research writing. What does it mean to ‘read’ 20,000 novels using an electronic database? Can we ‘read’ performing bodies, or emotions, ‘as if’ they were texts?

This course seeks to introduce students to a range of current theories and methods in humanities scholarship, with a particular focus on literary and cultural studies, drama and creative writing. Students will examine in turn 3 or 4 current topics in literary and cultural studies, each topic paired with a primary text (a novel, play, film, case study etc.). Topics might include: theories of authorship; new theories of reading, such as ‘distant reading’, ‘surface reading’, ‘reparative reading’ etc.; animal studies; ecocriticism; theories of performance; practice-led research; theories of affect and emotion; trauma studies; memory studies; neuroscience, ‘plasticity’ and theories of artificial intelligence; each taught by scholars focusing on these areas.

The course will not provide a comprehensive overview, but an exciting and varied sample of current debates. Its aim is to stimulate students to think of reading as a creative process, and of research writing as itself a form of creative reading.

In 2024, the course will run as an intensive in weeks 1-3 of semester 1.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. understand and critically evaluate the influence of a range of intellectual developments on the theory and practice of the discipline of literary and cultural studies, drama and creative writing;
  2. understand the key elements of a range of different theoretical approaches and apply these approaches to specific examples; and
  3. identify, contextualize and critically evaluate which critical approaches and scholarly debates are best suited to particular research projects, or that will best enable sophisticated analysis of particular kinds of ‘texts’.

Required Resources

J.M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello

Ottessa Moshfegh, Death in her Hands

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Theories of Authorship Introduction and Roland Barthes’ “Death of the Author”
2 Theories of Authorship 2: Michel Foucault, “What is an Author”
3 Theories of Authorship 3: Mark McGurl, Chapter One of The Program Era
4 Discussion of previous three weeks in relation to set text (Text: J.M Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello) Presentations (Text: J.M Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello)
5 Theories of Reading 1: Marcus and Best, “Surface Reading” & Heather Love, “Thin Description”
6 Theories of Reading 2: Sedgwick, Reparative Reading; Tim Dean, “Genre Blindness in the New Descriptivism”
7 Theories of Reading 3: James English and Mark McGurl
8 Discussion of previous three weeks in relation to set text (Text: Ottessa Moshfegh, Death in her Hands) Presentations (Ottessa Moshfegh, Death in her Hands)
9 Theories of Programmed or Artificial Intelligence: Wendy Chun
10 Theories of Programmed or Artificial Intelligence: Katherine N. Hayles
11 Theories of Programmed or Artificial Intelligence: Catherine Malabou
12 Discussion of previous three weeks in relation to set text (Text: Steven Spielberg, AI) Presentations (Text: Steven Spielberg, AI)

Tutorial Registration

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.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
1: 10-minute presentation (20%) 20 % * 1,2
2: Essay Abstract and Plan (20%) 20 % 01/03/2024 1,2,3
3. Essay that analyses one of the set primary text/s (in terms of one of the theoretical approaches or models set for class discussion: 3,500 - 4,000 (60%) 60 % 14/04/2023 1,2,3

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

1: 10-minute presentation (20%)

This assessment requires you to read one of the set pieces of research and:

·      Summarise a key element of your chosen reading’s concept or argument (5 mins)

·      Closely read the set text in the light of your chosen concept or argument (5 minutes)

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 01/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

2: Essay Abstract and Plan (20%)

This assessment requires you to produce an abstract and plan (800 - 1000 words) focused on your chosen essay topic, and that should include the following:

·      A summary of your approach to answering the question and the text you will analyse (Coetzee, Moshfegh or Spielberg)

·      A summary of the conceptual framework (one of the set theoretical readings) guiding your approach

·      4-5 bullet points outlining the essay structure

Assessment Task 3

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 14/04/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

3. Essay that analyses one of the set primary text/s (in terms of one of the theoretical approaches or models set for class discussion: 3,500 - 4,000 (60%)

This assessment requires you to research and write a 3,500-4,000 word essay that draws on your understanding of ONE of the theoretical texts studied on the course and that closely reads ONE of the set texts.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Monique Rooney

Research Interests

US Literature, film, television and new media; melodrama; literary theory; Australian literature; Ruth Park

Dr Monique Rooney

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Monique Rooney

Research Interests

Dr Monique Rooney

By Appointment
By Appointment

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