Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2012
Coordinator(s)Rita Wilson


Previously coded CLS3530


Does language create our world, or does it merely describe it? If it is the former, then what are the stakes for literature? Working with a range of novelists, poets, and theorists, this course will explore literature that engages with these questions of representation in the most innovative and exciting ways. Modernism describes not so much a definite time-span in literary and artistic history, as it does an aesthetic response to various social, moral, technological, and political transformations. We will reflect on some of the most influential concepts in the early part of the twentieth century in relation to cultural and material upheavals, including urbanization, scientific and technological advances, conflicts about sexuality, and the women's movement. We will draw on theoretical texts which highlight the ambiguity or dialectics of modernity, but our primary focus will be on the literary works from Asia, Europe and Latin America that stand at the heart of definitions and debates about modernism. The texts will be studied in English translation, though they may be read in their original languages.


Written work (3500 words): 70%
Class presentation and write-up (equiv. 1000 words): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Rita Wilson

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

European and European Union studies
Comparative literature and cultural studies
Literary studies (Literatures in English, International literatures)