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ENH3404 - Popular Writing and Criticism

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts


Not offered in 2007


This unit approaches the study of popular narrative afresh by uncovering some ideas about popular culture - "genre", "mass culture", "escapism", "representation" - that continue to limit and predetermine the analysis of popular texts. By considering how these ideas have come to inform our everyday responses to popular texts, the unit explores strategies for reading such texts in ways that challenge the "critical imperative" driving many analyses of popular fiction and film. Thus, the unit develops new protocols for thinking and writing about popular texts in academic, journalistic and everyday contexts. Access to on-line facilities is essential for students studying in off-campus mode.


On successful completion of this unit students will have:

  1. an understanding how popular texts mediate cultural understanding and activity;
  2. a capacity to recognise how contemporary reviews of popular fiction and film are often limited by a particular history of ideas about popular culture;
  3. an ability to appreciate different uses and interpretations of popular texts;
  4. an ability to explore innovative ways of engaging with popular culture;
  5. skills in deploy such alternative reading protocols within popular sites of cultural criticism, particularly through the popular practices of art criticism and review writing.


Essay (2000 words) : 30%
Critical Review (2500 words): 50% (2500 words) : 50%
Tutorial Participation (on-campus only) On-going or On-line Forum Discussion (off-campus only) On-going : 20%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week


COM1010 and COM1020 or equivalents


ENH2404, WRT2404, WRT3404