LITR19051 - Literary Theory
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for LITR19051 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

This unit examines a number of contemporary theoretical issues in the context of the history of literary theory. It offers students an opportunity to explore how different critical perspectives and reading practices, such as Leavisitism, New Criticism, Marxism, Feminism, Structuralism and Poststructuralism, have contributed to the development of contemporary problematisations of theoretical issues such as representation, race, gender, discourse, narrative, metafiction, ideology, ethnicity, class and value.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 1
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite: Minimum of 18 credit points

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Distance

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 20%
2. Written Assessment 50%
3. Written Assessment 30%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
Problems with Middle links and with two Q&A Forums Student Feedback Focus on ensuring that this are address early in the Term
Request for more online collaborate sessions Student feedback Attendance is extremely poor when BBC sessions are run. In future, BBC sessions will be compulsory.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate sound historical knowledge of the key contemporary theoretical ideas and concepts relevant to literary and cultural studies, as well as an elementary understanding of contemporary theories that both affirm and contest these assumptions;
  2. Recognise key theorists and texts in criticism and theory;
  3. Identify, analyse and assess significant critical debates surrounding relevant ideas and concepts, as well as theoretical problems associated with how texts make meaning;
  4. Reflect on positions taken by various theorists, and to understand some of their social, ethical and political implications; and,
  5. Show developed research, interpretative, argumentation and communication skills.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1. Communication      
2. Problem Solving
3. Critical Thinking
4. Information Literacy      
5. Team Work        
6. Information Technology Competence          
7. Cross Cultural Competence        
8. Ethical practice  

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment    
2 - Written Assessment    
3 - Written Assessment  

Prescribed Textbooks

Beginning theory: An introduction to literary and cultural theory
Author/s: Peter Barry Year: 2009
Edition: 3 edn Publisher: Manchester Uni Press
City: Manchester
Country: UK
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
All submissions for this unit must use the Harvard (author-date) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorAnn-Marie Priest (a.priest@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Introduction

Week 2 13-03-2017

Humanism

Week 3 20-03-2017

Humanism to Anti-Humanism

Week 4 27-03-2017

Structuralism

Week 5 03-04-2017

Marxist Criticism

Annotated Bibliography Due Friday (07 Apr 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Post-Structuralism

Week 7 24-04-2017

Postmodernism

Week 8 01-05-2017

Psychoanalytic Criticism

Week 9 08-05-2017

Feminist Criticism

Essay Due Friday (12 May 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 10 15-05-2017

New Historicism and Cultural Materialism

Week 11 22-05-2017

What is Literary Theory? Take 2

Week 12 29-05-2017

Theory after Theory

Notes and Queries Journal Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Annotated Bibliography
Task Description

Length: No less than 1500 words
Weighting: 20%
Details

Students will prepare an Annotated Bibliography with no less than 6 references on one of the following essay topics:

  1. ‘Broadly applied, literary theory describes a way of thinking transformed by Saussure, shaped by (post)structuralism, and fascinated with contemporary conceptions of culture.’ Discuss.
  2. ‘Culture is both a means of domination, of assuring the rule of one class or group over another, and a means of resistance to such domination, a way of articulating oppositional points of view to those in dominance.’ Discuss.
  3. ‘Contemporary critical practice calls into question certain claims about literature and art’s ability to produce certain kinds of truths and values.’ Discuss.
  4. Fuery and Mansfield argue that ‘all knowledge, no matter the rigour of its empirical method, is at least mediated, if not structured, by the human conventions of communication’ (Cultural Studies and Critical Theory p. 201). Discuss.

Note that the essay topic you choose for this assignment should be the same topic you will choose for your essay for Assignment 3. However, for this assignment, you will only prepare an annotated bibliography, not actually write the essay.

An annotated bibliography is a list of references with a brief description and evaluation of each one. You will be assessed on the quality and relevance of each reference as well as on the standard of your analysis, so choosing your research sources is an important part of the assignment task.

How to choose your references

All references need to be academic (i.e. peer-reviewed journal articles and/or scholarly books) and obtained using the Library's databases and/or resources. Wiki and other non-scholarly references from the Internet will not be accepted. Relevant chapters from the set text (Barry, Beginning Theory) may be included, but they DO NOT count as part of the required 6 references. Note that articles published in the last 5-10 years are more likely to be relevant.

As the Annotated Bibliography will form the foundation of the essay you will write for Assignment 3, choose references you think will be most useful for you in developing and supporting your arguments for the essay.

How to write your annotations

For each reference, give full referencing details in Harvard (author-date) referencing style followed by a succinct paragraph (200-250 words each) that answers the following questions:

  1. What is the writer’s main idea/thesis/argument?
  2. Why is the writer making their argument?
  3. What reasons/evidence does the writer use to support his/her case?
  4. How is this source relevant for your essay?

If you feel more comfortable using these questions as headings, please do (but the words do not count as part of the word limit). Do not refer to whole books unless you are absolutely confident that the whole book is relevant and you have read it (i.e. if you reference the whole book, the assumption is that it is all relevant). You might find it beneficial to choose one or two chapters from a book rather than reference the whole thing.

Put your references in alphabetical order by author surname, as you would in an ordinary reference list, but follow each reference with an annotation.

For more information on writing an Annotated Bibliography, see the guidelines set out by The Learning Centre, University of NSW: https://student.unsw.edu.au/annotated-bibliography.

For some guidance in writing about the work of other authors, consult the ‘Referring to Sources’ section of the Academic Phrasebank at the University of Manchester: http://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk/referring-to-sources/ See especially the sections ‘Reference to what other writers do in their text: author as subject’ and ‘Reference to another writer’s ideas or position (author as subject)’ towards the bottom of the page.

Note: Your marker will be checking every reference and will be looking for common flaws such as copying and pasting from abstracts.

Assessment Due Date Week 5 Friday (07-Apr-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 7 Friday (28-Apr-2017)
Weighting 20%
Assessment Criteria

This assignment will be marked using the following evaluation criteria:

  1. The relevance of the sources reviewed
  2. Evidence of appropriate critical thinking in their analysis
  3. Clear, succinct and correct written expression
  4. The proper formatting of the references according to the Harvard (author-date) referencing style.

Please Note: Marks will be deducted for poor or inconsistent referencing, and it is possible that this will lead to reduced grades (including fails). The Harvard (author-date) referencing style should be used.

Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate sound historical knowledge of the key contemporary theoretical ideas and concepts relevant to literary and cultural studies, as well as an elementary understanding of contemporary theories that both affirm and contest these assumptions;

2. Recognise key theorists and texts in criticism and theory;

3. Identify, analyse and assess significant critical debates surrounding relevant ideas and concepts, as well as theoretical problems associated with how texts make meaning;

4. Reflect on positions taken by various theorists, and to understand some of their social, ethical and political implications; and,

5. Show developed research, interpretative, argumentation and communication skills.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

5. Team Work

6. Information Technology Competence



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Notes and Queries Journal
Task Description

Weighting: 50%
Length: 2500-3000 words (for the six assessable entries)
Details

Students are expected to keep a ‘Notes and Queries’ journal during term. The purpose of the N&Q journal is to provide you with an intellectual space where you can explore the concepts and ideas that are surveyed in this unit. As you listen to the weekly lectures, read the readings and engage with the assignment tasks, you are encouraged to jot down notes, questions, answers, problems, and anything else that springs to mind as a way of ‘thinking out loud’ about the unit material. The journal will thus become an important learning tool.

In addition to logging your thoughts and ideas in the Notes and Queries journal, you are also required to answer the discussion question provided on the unit Moodle site each week. In the first three weeks, as you become familiar with the unit material, these questions are not assessable. However, you may want to post your responses to the relevant discussion forum to check your learning and share your ideas with others. From weeks 4-11, all discussion questions are assessable, and you are required to submit six of your answers, of 400-500 words each, in Week 12 as the assessable component of your Notes and Queries journal. You are welcome to submit your entire journal if you choose: in this case, indicate which six answers you wish to be considered for assessment (e.g. simply write ‘Assessment Piece’ at the beginning of each answer).

Assessable component of Notes and Queries journal

The assessable component of the Notes & Queries journal is as follows:

  1. Answer at least six of the weekly discussion questions chosen from weeks 4-11 as listed on the unit Moodle site;
  2. Your answers must be thoughtfully considered and demonstrate evidence of reading and research, appropriately referenced;
  3. Each answer should be 400-500 words long;
  4. All six answers should be submitted for assessment as a single Word document through the Moodle site by the Friday of Week 12. If you are submitting your entire journal, clearly identify which answers you wish to be considered as part of this assessment (e.g. simply write ‘Assessment Piece’ at the beginning of each answer).

Bonus marks

You are encouraged to post your answers each week to the relevant Moodle discussion forum, and to respond to the posts of others. Students who provide evidence of engaging with the discussion forums and the posted Notes & Queries journal entries of others will receive an automatic 5% bonus marks for their Notes & Queries journal assessment.

How to write your journal entries

This is your journal and you can write in any style that suits you. It is fine to use the first-person (i.e. to say ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’ etc.). However, do keep in mind that what you write needs to be comprehensible to another reader (other students on the Moodle forums, as well as your marker), so use complete sentences and edit your work for typos and clarity of expression. You are expected to engage with written texts in your responses to the discussion questions (the set text, readings and any further research of your own, as well as the lectures and podcasts), and you will need to reference all sources you refer to appropriately.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Notes and Queries Journals will be marked and returned to students as soon as practicable after the end of term.
Weighting 50%
Assessment Criteria

This assignment will be marked using the following evaluation criteria:

  1. Evidence of reflection and critical thinking;
  2. Use of a range of academic sources to support ideas and arguments;
  3. High level of engagement with the ideas and concepts explored in the unit;
  4. Clarity of expression and proper acknowledgement of all sources using the Harvard (author-date) referencing style.
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate sound historical knowledge of the key contemporary theoretical ideas and concepts relevant to literary and cultural studies, as well as an elementary understanding of contemporary theories that both affirm and contest these assumptions;

2. Recognise key theorists and texts in criticism and theory;

3. Identify, analyse and assess significant critical debates surrounding relevant ideas and concepts, as well as theoretical problems associated with how texts make meaning;

4. Reflect on positions taken by various theorists, and to understand some of their social, ethical and political implications; and,

5. Show developed research, interpretative, argumentation and communication skills.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

7. Cross Cultural Competence

8. Ethical practice



3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Essay
Task Description

Weighting: 30%
Length: No less than 1500 words
Details


Students should prepare an essay on one of the following topics (i.e. the topic already selected as part of the Annotated Bibliography exercise). Students should make use of the material collected and analysed as part of the Annotated Bibliography assignment, as well as any feedback from the marker on that assignment.

  1. ‘Broadly applied, literary theory describes a way of thinking transformed by Saussure, shaped by (post)structuralism, and fascinated with contemporary conceptions of culture.’ Discuss.
  2. ‘Culture is both a means of domination, of assuring the rule of one class or group over another, and a means of resistance to such domination, a way of articulating oppositional points of view to those in dominance.’ Discuss.
  3. ‘Contemporary critical practice calls into question certain claims about literature and art’s ability to produce certain kinds of truths and values.’ Discuss.
  4. Fuery and Mansfield argue that ‘all knowledge, no matter the rigour of its empirical method, is at least mediated, if not structured, by the human conventions of communication’ (Cultural Studies and Critical Theory, p. 201). Discuss.

Your essay should put forward an argument or position in relation to the question and support it by drawing on scholarly sources, including those analysed in the Annotated Bibliography assignment.

Assessment Due Date Week 9 Friday (12-May-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 11 Friday (26-May-2017)
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria

This assignment will be evaluated using the following assessment criteria:

  1. Development of a convincing and coherent argument in response to the question;
  2. Evidence of critical analysis of a range of academic sources (minimum of 6) to support the argument;
  3. High level of engagement with key ideas and concepts relating to literary theory;
  4. Clear and correct written expression (effective use of essay structure, correct spelling and grammar);
  5. The proper acknowledgement of all sources using the Harvard (author-date) referencing style.
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate sound historical knowledge of the key contemporary theoretical ideas and concepts relevant to literary and cultural studies, as well as an elementary understanding of contemporary theories that both affirm and contest these assumptions;

2. Recognise key theorists and texts in criticism and theory;

3. Identify, analyse and assess significant critical debates surrounding relevant ideas and concepts, as well as theoretical problems associated with how texts make meaning;

4. Reflect on positions taken by various theorists, and to understand some of their social, ethical and political implications; and,

5. Show developed research, interpretative, argumentation and communication skills.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence

7. Cross Cultural Competence

8. Ethical practice




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