LITR19051 - Literary Theory

General Information

Unit Synopsis

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.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 1
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).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2023

Term 1 - 2023 Profile

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).

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.

Assessment Tasks

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 Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 66.67% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 7.50% response rate.

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.

Source: Have your Say and Student Evaluation
Revise content to allow time to consider complex theories and ideas
Modify unit content to reflect contemporary issues and trends in literary theory, whilst highlighting the applicability of theoretical perspectives to workplace requirements. This may involve condensing some theories while expanding on others.
Action Taken
The unit content has been modified and condensed to enable better understanding of theory and its applicability in the workplace and other contemporary social contexts.
Source: Have your Say and Student Evaluation
Assessments worded in complicated way
Simplify wording of assessments. Allocate student contact time to ensure assessments are understood.
Action Taken
The assessments have been redesigned to meet the needs and abilities of contemporary students.
Source: Have your Say and Student Evaluation
Update links to research articles
Curate an e-reading list consisting of primary texts, secondary sources and multi-media resources.
Action Taken
The links have been updated through the library e-reading list, and also modified, streamlined and made more relevant to contemporary issues.
Source: SUTE data
The unit is difficult.
The unit is an advanced unit. Students are appropriately scaffolded to effectively undertake the unit in introductory units. It is recommended to ensure that pre-requisites are enforced to give students the best chance of succeeding.
Action Taken
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 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
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 9 10
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment