Course Title: Literature's Ethics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Literature's Ethics

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Dr Linda Daley

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2824

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study

Successful completion of any three (3) of the following courses before you commence this course: COMM2637 Textual Crossings: Literary Adaptation; COMM2635 Reading Space & Place; LANG1006 Literary Realism to Postmodernism; COMM2638 Narrating the Self; COMM2634 Reading Sex & Race.


Alternatively you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course. Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning. Further information:;ID=x94or0ccuu7k

Course Description

In this course you will explore ethics in literature and the ethics of literature. Ethics in literature considers marginalised voices and the role of testimony in their representation. This approach examines a range of literary (fictional and non-fictional) and long-form journalism texts that examine or express moments of crisis for the individual or group. The ethics of literature considers the relations between the writer and their work, and between the text and reader as a paradigm for all ethical relations.

Issues you may examine in this course are: journalism as a form of literature; the role of literature as a mode of both testimony and advocacy for justice; and the event of reading as an ethical activity.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcome:

  • Identify, evaluate and critically analyse cultural, historical and theoretical practices which contextualise your professional practice and further study.


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

  1. View ethics as a mode of relationality
  2. Describe and evaluate the possibilities for literary works in representing marginalised voices
  3. Analyse and discuss literary work as a site of ethical activity
  4. Critically discuss the inter-relation of ethics and literature

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities which may include project work, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, individual and group activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The Library provides guides on academic referencing: and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include written and oral reports, reflective papers, creative projects and presentations, individually and in groups.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

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 coordinator or the Equitable Learning Service if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: Assessment

Task 1. A short-answer task on the critical writings framing the primary course text(s) [20% Addresses CLO's 1 and 2]

Task 2. A class presentation on a passage from a primary text [30% Addresses CLO's 1, 2 and 3]

Task 3. A sustained written response to a relevant topic that builds on the previous tasks [50% Addresses CLO's 3 and 4]