Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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
Organisational UnitPhilosophy
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)Dr Mark Kelly


Previously coded CLS2000


This unit is designed to introduce students to some of those key contemporary philosophical ideas which are used in cinematic, literary and cultural criticism and generally brought together under the heading 'critical theory'. It aims to present an overview of leading figures within twentieth-century and contemporary critical theory including Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Ranciere, Alain Badiou, Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt. The unit will also encourage students to discuss the issues that these thinkers raise. Each class will focus in detail on a specific essay by one of the authors mentioned.


On the successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  1. read and criticise some of the major texts of critical theory
  2. use the terminology of contemporary criticism with confidence
  3. make their own writing responsive to the issues considered in critical theory
  4. apply aspects of theoretical learning to their study of texts
  5. have a communicative competence in the discourse of theory as such


Exam (2 hrs): 40%
Written work (2500 words): 50%
Oral presentation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Two hours (one 2-hour seminar) per week

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


Two gateway units in Literary studies or Philosophy