CQUniversity Unit Profile
LITR19051 Literary Theory
Literary Theory
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.
General Information

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: 7
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite: Minimum of 18 credit points

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 1 - 2021

Online

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).

Class and Assessment Overview

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

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

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

Assessment Grading

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 Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

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 from Have Your Say

Feedback

Sometimes students were a little lost with the weekly topics.

Recommendation

Weekly topics will be clarified through the adoption of a new way of organising learning resources on Moodle for 2021.

Feedback from Have Your Say

Feedback

It would have been helpful if the unit included an information sheet differentiating the theories.

Recommendation

A learning resource will be created clearly differentiating the various theories.

Unit Learning Outcomes
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 Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Written Assessment - 20%
2 - Written Assessment - 50%
3 - Written Assessment - 30%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

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
9 - Social Innovation

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Written Assessment - 20%
2 - Written Assessment - 50%
3 - Written Assessment - 30%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

Beginning Theory 4 (2017)

Authors: Peter Barry
Manchester University Press
Manchester Manchester , England
ISBN: 978 1 5261 2179 0
Binding: Paperback

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: Harvard (author-date)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Stephen Butler Unit Coordinator
s.butler@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 08 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

- What is literary theory?
- Humanism/ Liberal Humanism

Chapter

- Barry, P 'Theory before "theory",' Beginning theory: an introduction to literary and cultural theory, pp. 11-39, Manchester University Press, Manchester.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 2 Begin Date: 15 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

- Humanism to Anti-Humanism

Chapter

- Moodle site - selected readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 3 Begin Date: 22 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

- Structuralism

Chapter

- Barry 'Structuralism' pp.40-60;
- Moodle site - selected readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 4 Begin Date: 29 Mar 2021

Module/Topic

- Post-structuralism and deconstruction
- Postmodernism

Chapter

- Barry 'Post-structuralism and deconstruction' pp.61-82;
- Barry 'Postmodernism' pp.83-96;
- Moodle site - selected readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 5 Begin Date: 05 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

- Marxist Criticism

Chapter

- Barry 'Marxist criticism' pp.159-174;
- Moodle site - selected readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Item 1 - Annotated Bibliography


Close-Reading Analysis Due: Week 5 Friday (9 Apr 2021) 11:59 pm AEST
Vacation Week Begin Date: 12 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6 Begin Date: 19 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

- Psychoanalytic criticism

Chapter

- Barry 'Psychoanalytic criticism' pp.97-122;
- Moodle site - selected readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 7 Begin Date: 26 Apr 2021

Module/Topic

- Feminism criticism

Chapter

- Barry 'Feminist criticism' pp.123-140;
- Moodle site - selected readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 8 Begin Date: 03 May 2021

Module/Topic

- New Historicism and Cultural Materialism

Chapter

- Barry 'New Historicism and Cultural Materialism' pp.175-193;
- Moodle site - selected readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 9 Begin Date: 10 May 2021

Module/Topic

- Postcolonial criticism

Chapter

- Barry 'Postcolonial criticism' pp.194-205;
- Moodle site - selected readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Item 3 - Essay


Research Essay Due: Week 9 Friday (14 May 2021) 11:45 pm AEST
Week 10 Begin Date: 17 May 2021

Module/Topic

- Stylistics and Narratology

Chapter

- Barry 'Stylistics' pp.205-222;
- Barry 'Narratology' pp.223-247;

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 11 Begin Date: 24 May 2021

Module/Topic

- Ecocriticism

Chapter

- Barry 'Ecocriticism' pp.248-278;

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 12 Begin Date: 31 May 2021

Module/Topic

- What is Literary Theory? Take 2
- Theory after Theory

Chapter

- Barry 'Theory after theory' pp.304-341;
- Moodle site - selected readings

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Item 2 - Notes & Queries Journal


Notes and Queries Journal Due: Week 12 Friday (4 Jun 2021) 11:59 pm AEST
Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 07 Jun 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Exam Week Begin Date: 14 Jun 2021

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Tasks

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Close-Reading Analysis

Task Description

Length: No less than 1000 words

Details

Students will undertake a close reading of one of the following readings (available for download from the Moodle website), which relate to Weeks 1-5 of the Unit, and answer 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 might this source be relevant to the school of thought they appear to be addressing, or to literary theory more generally?
Readings


Assessment Due Date

Week 5 Friday (9 Apr 2021) 11:59 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Week 7 Friday (30 Apr 2021)

Assessments will be marked and returned ASAP


Weighting
20%

Assessment Criteria

This assignment will be marked using the following evaluation criteria:

  1. Evidence of appropriate critical thinking
  2. Clear, succinct and correct written expression
  3. 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.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • 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;
  • Recognise key theorists and texts in criticism and theory;
  • Identify, analyse and assess significant critical debates surrounding relevant ideas and concepts, as well as theoretical problems associated with how texts make meaning;
  • Reflect on positions taken by various theorists, and to understand some of their social, ethical and political implications; and,
  • Show developed research, interpretative, argumentation and communication skills.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Team Work
  • Information Technology Competence

2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Notes and Queries Journal

Task Description

Length

- 2500-3000 words (for the six assessable entries)

Details

You are expected to keep a ‘Notes and Queries Journal' (NQJ). The purpose of the NQJ 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 N&QJ will thus become an important learning tool.

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 as listed on the unit Moodle site chosen from weeks 4-11;
  2. 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 NQJ entries of others will receive an automatic 5% bonus marks.

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 (4 Jun 2021) 11:59 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

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • 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;
  • Recognise key theorists and texts in criticism and theory;
  • Identify, analyse and assess significant critical debates surrounding relevant ideas and concepts, as well as theoretical problems associated with how texts make meaning;
  • Reflect on positions taken by various theorists, and to understand some of their social, ethical and political implications; and,
  • Show developed research, interpretative, argumentation and communication skills.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice

3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Research Essay

Task Description

Length

No less than 1500 words

Details

Students should prepare an essay on one of the following topics.

  1. Culler tells us that literary theory comprises a way of thinking about the 'nature of literature and the methods for analysing it' (1997, p.1). Choose a literary theorist (or school) and test their rationale for how they go about analysing literature or literariness.
  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 the dominant hegemony.’ 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.  According to literary critic, Terry Eagleton (2007, p. 14), 'the mark of modernist thought is the belief that human existence is contingent – that it has no ground, goal, direction or necessity ... no unimpeachable foundation for what we are and what we do’. This may be seen as liberating or threatening (or both). He goes on to say that: ‘This may make our finest moments even more precious or it may serve to drastically devalue them.’ Discuss these issues in terms of relevant literary theory.
  5. In the words of Whitla (2010, p. 217) literary theories 'challenge fundamental assumptions about how language works and about how we know about the world, [and] they also question deep-seated sites of political and intellectual authority.' This can be seen as both empowering and disconcerting for people in the contemporary world. Discuss.

Your essay should put forward an argument or position in relation to the question and support it by drawing on scholarly sources.


Assessment Due Date

Week 9 Friday (14 May 2021) 11:45 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

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. High level of engagement with key ideas and concepts relating to literary theory;
  3. Clear and correct written expression (effective use of essay structure, correct spelling, and grammar);
  4. The proper acknowledgment of all sources (minimum of 6)using the Harvard (author-date) referencing style.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • 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;
  • Recognise key theorists and texts in criticism and theory;
  • Identify, analyse and assess significant critical debates surrounding relevant ideas and concepts, as well as theoretical problems associated with how texts make meaning;
  • Reflect on positions taken by various theorists, and to understand some of their social, ethical and political implications; and,
  • Show developed research, interpretative, argumentation and communication skills.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

What can you do to act with integrity?

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.