Welcome to Literary Studies

Literary Studies as a discipline brings together undergraduates, postgraduates and staff from across the Faculty of Arts interested in literature, books, how literary texts are created and how they are read. This discipline incorporates former majors in English, Creative Writing and Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, as well as a number of language-specific literary studies units, and replaces them with the following pathways:

Literary Studies – Literatures in English

Literary Studies – Creative Writing

Literary Studies – International Literatures

These share a first-year ‘Gateway’ sequence, though each pathway has its own distinctive structure based on specific core units (outlined in the Undergraduate Handbook).

Staff teaching in all three pathways in the Literary Studies Major share a passion for the history, present and future of literature in a wide variety of periods, languages and forms. They are active researchers and support the work of a number of Literary Studies research units and centres, including the Centre for Writers and Writing, the Centre for the Book, the Literary and Cultural Research Network and the Translation and Intercultural Studies group.

The Literatures in English pathway engages with literatures from within Australia and around the world. Its approach to Australian literature places it in relation to both its European and Indigenous roots and its increasingly wide international context. Other world literatures are researched and taught in relation to their national and transnational contexts and with attention to the many theoretical ideas about literary criticism that have developed over the last hundred years.

Creative writing allows students to apply their knowledge of the history and theory of literature to the task of creative practice, in the areas of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Students are encouraged to experiment with a range of stylistic approaches in the collaborative environment of workshops, developing technical skills in both writing and editing, while reflecting creatively and analytically on their own practice.

Focusing on literary texts from around the world, International Literatures takes a distinctive comparative approach to literature. Using translated texts (and, where students have the language skills, the original language), International Literatures enables students to read and understand cross-culturally, to recognise the important literary dialogues that have shaped our understanding of literature today, and to explore the interaction of cultures more broadly.

Literary Studies is a key humanities discipline developing communicative, argumentative, analytical and creative skills.

For more information, including a full list of included units, see the Literary Studies (Areas of Study) handbook entry.