University of Sydney Handbooks - 2012 Archive

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Australian Literature

Australian Literature is situated within the Department of English and forms part of the School of Letters, Art and Media (SLAM).

The Australian Literature program commences at senior level after the completion of two junior units of study (12 credit points). Students majoring in Australian Literature will normally have completed 12 junior credit points from Table A, including ENGL1008 Australian Literature: International Contexts. They are then required to complete 36 credit points from senior units of study listed in the subject area, 18 of which must be from Core ASLT units of study. Students are offered a wide range of approaches to the discipline and are prepared for entry into an honours year in which they specialise in an area of their choice.

Australian Literature units are designed for students with native language ability and, although there are no formal prerequisites, all units are based on the assumption that students will have completed one of the more demanding courses for the Higher School Certificate, or the equivalent. Senior level units are normally rotated on a two-year basis to allow full-time students a larger number of choices in their two senior years.

The Australian Literature resources Room (N411) is situated on level 4 of the John Woolley Building. This is a valuable collection of reference works and files relating to Australian Literature designed for the use of students, staff and visiting scholars. It includes works of Australian poetry, prose, drama and fiction, reference books of literary criticism and literary history, doctoral theses, and files of the leading Australian literary journalists.

Students wishing to major in Australian Literature begin with two junior level units from Table A, including ENGL1008 (12 credit points). At senior level, they must complete 36 senior credit points, including a minimum of three units from the Core ASLT units of study.

Core units

Offered in 2012:
ASLT2609 Writing in the Postmodern Age
ASLT2616 Australian Stage and Screen
ASLT2620 Writing Australian Nature

Offered in 2013:
ASLT2618 Anatomy of the Literary Hoax
ASLT2619 Australian Gothic
ASLT2602 Revolutionary Writing? 1960s and Beyond

A number of units in other departments are cross-listed to the Australian Literature major and up to three cross-listed units may be included as part of the major (18 credit points). For information on cross-listed units please see the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences website

Students are advised to consult the Possible Pathways document on the Department of English website which offers them guidance in their English studies by organising the large range of junior, senior, advanced, and honours units on offer to students of English and Australian Literature into areas reflecting the historical, generic, national, and thematic diversity of linguistic and literary cities in English.

Students majoring in other disciplines may also return to individual Australian Literature (ASLT) units of study at later stages in their degree.

Honours in Australian Literature allows students to specialise further in their area of interest. It offers students the opportunity to work independently and creatively in a community of scholars that includes their peers and the staff of the department. A number of honours graduates each year continue to postgraduate study in Australia or abroad.

Students wishing to enter honours must have achieved grades of Credit or above in their senior units and there is one compulsory unit, ENGL3655 The Literary in Theory. Units of study include Australian Poetry and the Symbolists, Undisciplined Histories, Australian Classic Works, and Reading Suburbia.

During their honours year students will write a thesis as well as completing three honours options. The detail regarding prerequisites and the nature of the honours year is described in chapter five of this handbook.

Contact/further information
For comprehensive information see the English department website:
Convenor: Professor Robert Dixon
Phone: +61 2 9036 7231