Course Title: Literary Theory

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Literary Theory

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014

Course Coordinator: Dr Jessica Wilkinson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3714

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite course COMM2393 Writing a Novel. Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisites before enrolling in a course.

Course Description

This course will provide you with an overview of some of the most important writers, terms and ideas in literary theory, with a focus on the last fifty years. The course is organised around themes of particular relevance to creative writers. Possible topics of discussion include: inspiration, originality, influence, value, ‘the death of the author’ and ‘the end of literature’. It is hoped that a knowledge of literary theory will help you to become a better writer, reader and critic.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:
- independent research
- critical and thoughtful responses to texts
- critical writing skills and reflective practice.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Interrogate and interpret critical and theoretical writing that is often complex and dense
  • Respond to critical and theoretical writing with your own writing
  • Explore and reflect on the key movements and theories in Literary Theory

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is a seminar-based course and will follow a seminar-style format incorporating discussion and critique throughout the semester. You will be expected to contribute to the discussions in thoughtful and meaningful ways. You will be expected to conduct your own independent research to explore theorists of your own choice and ideas that interest you and your writing. You will be expected to complement these formal engagements with independent research and writing.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. You will be required to read a number of suggested selected texts. You will also be required to access the library, internet and other resources for your own research purposes.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment in this course aims to test your abilities in critical thinking and writing, reflective practice and independent research. Feedback will be given on all assessments.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program director or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures.