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ENGX203 – Contemporary Literature

2017 – S1 OUA

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Alys Moody
Prerequisites Prerequisites
ENGX120 or ENG110 or ENGL120
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit explores the role of literature in the twenty-first century. It focuses on how writing in a range of genres participates in contemporary debates and controversies, including discussions over race, globalisation, terrorism, climate change, ethics, and other major contemporary issues. We will consider how the circumstances in which literature is written affect how writers engage in these debates, looking at the influence of creative writing programmes, digital media, and literary celebrity.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.open.edu.au/student-admin-and-support/key-dates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research
  2. Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  3. Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  4. Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  5. Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Unit Participation 20% No Ongoing
Short Research Essay 30% No 19 April
Criticism in Public 50% No Friday 9 June

Unit Participation

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 20%

Contribution to the learning environment of the unit, via participation in online discussions and engagement with your partner.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research
  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Short Research Essay

Due: 19 April
Weighting: 30%

1,500 word essay, drawing on two texts and additional research. See below for questions.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research
  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Criticism in Public

Due: Friday 9 June
Weighting: 50%

Critical essay, discussing two texts on this unit, written for a general audience (1500-2000 words); plus short reflective essay explaining relationship of essay to scholarship (500-1000 words).


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research
  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Delivery and Resources

This unit will be taught online. Students are expected to contribute to online discussions on a weekly basis.

Students should purchase or otherwise ensure they have access to the following set texts:

  • J. M. Coetzee, Lives of Animals
  • Junot Díaz, Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
  • Ben Lerner, Leaving the Atocha Station
  • Claudia Rankine, Citizen

Additional readings will be made available via iLearn and MultiSearch.

Policies and Procedures

Late Submission - applies unless otherwise stated elsewhere in the unit guide

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g. quizzes, online tests.

Extension Request

Special Consideration Policy and Procedure (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration)

The University recognises that students may experience events or conditions that adversely affect their academic performance. If you experience serious and unavoidable difficulties at exam time or when assessment tasks are due, you can consider applying for Special Consideration.

You need to show that the circumstances:

  1. were serious, unexpected and unavoidable
  2. were beyond your control
  3. caused substantial disruption to your academic work
  4. substantially interfered with your otherwise satisfactory fulfilment of the unit requirements
  5. lasted at least three consecutive days or a total of 5 days within the teaching period and prevented completion of an assessment task scheduled for a specific date.

If you feel that your studies have been impacted submit an application as follows:

  1. Visit Ask MQ and use your OneID to log in
  2. Fill in your relevant details
  3. Attach supporting documents by clicking 'Add a reply', click 'Browse' and navigating to the files you want to attach, then click 'Submit Form' to send your notification and supporting documents
  4. Please keep copies of your original documents, as they may be requested in the future as part of the assessment process

Outcome

Once your submission is assessed, an appropriate outcome will be organised.

OUA Specific Policies and Procedures

Withdrawal from a unit after the census date

You can withdraw from your subjects prior to the census date (last day to withdraw). If you successfully withdraw before the census date, you won’t need to apply for Special Circumstances. If you find yourself unable to withdraw from your subjects before the census date - you might be able to apply for Special Circumstances. If you’re eligible, we can refund your fees and overturn your fail grade.

If you’re studying Single Subjects using FEE-HELP or paying up front, you can apply online.

If you’re studying a degree using HECS-HELP, you’ll need to apply directly to Macquarie University.

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Assessment tasks

  • Unit Participation
  • Short Research Essay
  • Criticism in Public

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research
  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Assessment tasks

  • Unit Participation
  • Short Research Essay
  • Criticism in Public

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research
  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Assessment tasks

  • Unit Participation
  • Short Research Essay
  • Criticism in Public

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research
  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Assessment tasks

  • Unit Participation
  • Short Research Essay
  • Criticism in Public

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research
  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Assessment tasks

  • Unit Participation
  • Short Research Essay
  • Criticism in Public

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Assessment tasks

  • Unit Participation
  • Short Research Essay
  • Criticism in Public

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research
  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Assessment tasks

  • Unit Participation
  • Short Research Essay
  • Criticism in Public

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Assessment tasks

  • Unit Participation
  • Short Research Essay
  • Criticism in Public

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Analyse and compare literary texts across a range of genres, including the novel, the essay, poetry, and hybrid genres, using a sound critical vocabulary and scholarly research
  • Explain key features of the contemporary literary field, including the role of literary celebrity, creative writing programmes, and digital media, and analyse how these features impact on literary texts
  • Reflect on the role of critical writing and essays in the contemporary literary field
  • Explain and analyse how literature participates in debates in the public sphere, including discussions over race, immigration, ethics, history, and the representation of disasters
  • Develop well-reasoned arguments about literary texts, and support these arguments orally and in writing

Assessment tasks

  • Unit Participation
  • Short Research Essay
  • Criticism in Public