Australian Literature

About the minor

The Australian Literature minor, within the Department of English will give you a broad understanding of the history and characteristics of Australian literature in its international contexts. It will offer you the chance to become better acquainted with writing in and about Australia, as well as Australian writers in their various national and international contexts. The Australian Literature minor introduces you to a wide range of literary and cultural works – poems, plays, novels and films – from colonial times to the present day, including works by Indigenous authors.

You will encounter the richness, breadth and depth of Australian literature through a critical engagement with some of the innovative and influential works that have shaped Australia’s cultural heritage. Australian Literature at the University of Sydney teaches students to express advanced theoretical concepts with insight, clarity and rigour, whilst engaging with the literature and ideas that have contributed to the nation's distinctive cultural, intellectual and artistic formations. Through discussion, research and writing, you will hone critical skills central to the Australian Literature minor. You will also learn how to read works closely and make sophisticated connections between Australian writing and the wider culture.

Requirements for completion

A minor in Australian Literature requires 36 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level units
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level units

First year

First year in the Australian Literature minor allows you to explore Australian texts in the wider context of English before moving on to units focused on Australian texts in your second and third year. It introduces you to a diverse range of English units, from global, gothic, and American literatures, to studies of language, narrative and the ‘fictive’ self, as well as film studies and creative writing; some of these include Australian texts as part of their curriculum. The completion of any two will enable you to undertake the Australian Literature minor. In dynamic lectures and tutorials you will learn fundamental skills in the reading and analysis of texts that will equip you for further study in Australian Literature, while acquiring confidence and proficiency in oral and written assignments.

Second year

Second year in the Australian Literature minor introduces you to key genres and periods in Australian culture in units focusing on Australian gothic, Australian theatre and film, the revolutionary writing of the 1960s and beyond, and Australian postmodernism. These units develop your knowledge of the history and variety of Australian texts; from the colonial era to the present day, introducing you to critical and theoretical approaches that will prepare you for further study. In class and in well-tailored assessment tasks you will advance your fluency in writing and analysis, and engage inclusively and collaboratively with your peers.

Third year

Third year in the Australian Literature minor builds on the skills you have acquired in first and second year, and rounds off your study of Australian texts, the national and international contexts that shape them, and the cultural and historical milieux in which they circulate and are read. Third-year units are generally taught in seminar mode, taking advantage of staff expertise in specialist areas. These include Australian nature writing, Australian modernism, Australian literature as a world literature, Indigenous ecopoetics, and the in-depth study of selected major Australian authors.

Working closely with staff and with their peers in small groups, students more directly shape the learning experience. You will progress your knowledge of critical theory and practice in order to be able to apply your disciplinary skills in diverse and interdisciplinary ways. Assessments allow you to demonstrate your superior research and writing abilities.

Contact and further information

Department of English website: sydney.edu.au/arts/australian_literature/
School of Literature, Art and Media Wesbite: sydney.edu.au/arts/slam

Undergraduate Coordinator: Professor Liam Semler
Phone: +61 2 9351 6852
Email:

Example pathways
Choice of units in the Australian Literature minor
Year 1 Take 2 from
these options
ENGL1002 Narrative of
Romance and Adventure
ENGL1007 Language, Texts
and Time
ENGL1011 Introduction
to Film Studies
ENGL1013 Global
Literatures in English
ENGL1012 The Gothic
Imagination
ENGL1026 Constructing
the Fictive Self
Year 2 Take 2 from
these options
ENGL2688 Australian Gothic ENGL2669 Australian Stage
& Screen
 

ENGL2670 Revolutionary Writing?
1960's and beyond

ENGL2671 Australian Writing
in the Postmodern Age
 

Year 3

Take 2 from
these options
ENGL3701 Major Australian Authors:
Depth Study
ENGL2671 Major Australian Authors:
Depth Study
ENGL3705 Writing Country:
Indigenous Ecopoetics
ENGL3704 Australian
Literature, Nation,
Location
ENGL3704 Australian Literature,
Nation, Location
 

 


Sample of Australian Literature minor with an English major
Year 1 Sem 1 English major

ENGL1013 Global
Literatures in
English
1000 level unit 1000 level unit Aust Lit minor

ENGL1012 The Gothic Imagination
Sem 2 ENGL1007 Language, Texts
and Time
1000 level unit 1000 level unit ENGL1026 Constructing the Fictive Self
Year 2 Sem 1 ENGL2653 Western Theories
of Language
2000 level unit 2000 level unit/OLE ENGL2670
Revolutionary Writing? 1960's and beyond
Sem 2 ENGL2613 Literature, Politics
and Modernity
2000 level unit 2000 level unit/OLE ENGL2668 Australian
Gothic
Year 3 Sem 1 ENGL3707 Text,
Action and Ideology
ENGL3615 Street
Narratives
3000 level unit ENGL3701 Major Australian Authors: Depth  Study
Sem 2 ENGL3697 Imagining
Jerusalem
ENGL3999 Interdisciplinary
project unit
3000 level unit ENGL3704 Australian Literature, Nation, Location