Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Literary Studies


Dr Melinda Harvey


Not offered in 2016



The unit will explore a selection of fiction and non-fiction texts that treat Italy as a site for transformations of the self. These self-discoveries are usually cast as positive but are on occasion of a more unsettling or disturbing kind. The unit will investigate these transformations. It will also consider why Italy has been a place of renewal and 'undoing' in literature over the years and try to account for the popularity of such narratives with readers past and present. In this unit there will be an emphasis on 'geolocated' reading experiences and writing exercises. For this reason there will be a particular focus on 'Tuscan transformations'; we will visit the actual sites and scenes of our texts and there will also be regular in situ writing excursions in Prato and surrounds.


On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the representation of Italy generally (and Tuscany in particular) as a site of personal transformation in range of texts.
  2. Critically describe the diverse history of cultural investments in Italy as an agent of personal transformation for non-Italian writers.
  3. Produce a piece of Creative Writing, either fiction or non-fiction, that explores the transformational potential of Italy.
  4. Appreciate and articulate the relationships between environment, literary criticism and creative practice.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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

Literary studies
Arts enrichment units


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.