Monash University

Undergraduate - Area of Study

Students who commenced study in 2012 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirments; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your area of study.

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All areas of study information should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. The units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Arts component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Arts
Offered bySchool of English, Communications and Performance Studies
Campus(es)Caulfield, Clayton, South Africa, Sunway


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • As of 2012 comparative literature and cultural studies will be replaced by the international literatures pathway of the literary studies major. Those students who commenced comparative literature and cultural studies prior to 2011 can consult the comparative literature and cultural studies undergraduate coordinator via regarding how to complete the requirements of their major.


Units under this heading are administered by the Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies within the School of English, Communications and Performance Studies. The Centre is an interdisciplinary teaching unit with responsibility for teaching and research in three main areas:

(a.) Comparative literature is the study of literary texts in ways that go beyond particular national or linguistic boundaries. Students study literary texts written in other languages - including Ancient Greek, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian and Spanish - as well as in English. All texts are studied in English translation although normally the lecturer presenting will know the original as well.

(b.) Cultural studies is the study of literature in its political and social contexts and in relation to other arts and media, for example the press, film and television. The interrelationships between texts and codes are studied, both 'artistic' and 'popular', verbal and visual. The connections between social institutions are examined, such as the international media conglomerates, cultural technologies like printing and film and cultural forms such as the novel and the soap opera.

(c.) Critical theory is an umbrella term for a whole series of contemporary approaches to literary and cultural criticism, for example hermeneutics, semiotics, post-structuralism, ideology critique, psychoanalysis, ecocriticism and so on. Such theories are central to recent work in literary and cultural studies.