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ENH3055 - Textual Theories and Practice: an Introduction

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Clive Probyn


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


This unit will introduce second and third year students to the complex and challenging world of interpretation, particularly to theories generated by the last thirty years since structuralism gave way to poststructuralism, colonialism to postcolonialism, the patriarchy to gender studies, the autonomous text to texts as product and construction. We shall select weekly readings from leading French, American and other European critics.


Students successfully completing this subject will gain:

  1. a working knowledge of some of the leading and most influential theories of interpretation in late twentieth century writing and culture.
  2. an ability to read theoretical discussions of various disciplinary areas such as Literary Studies, Comparative Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, Semiotics and Gender Studies, some aspects of Social Politics.
  3. an ability to apply aspects of theoretical learning to their study of texts (broadly defined).
  4. a communicative competence in the discourse of theory as such.


Seminar paper/Book Review 1000: 20%, Long Essay 2500: 50%, Seminar contribution: 10%, One hour exam 1000: 20%.
At third year level a higher level of theoretical range and depth is expected: the Long Essay, for example, would require three rather than two theorists to be considered.

Contact hours

One two-hour seminar each week.


First year sequence in English or CCLS.