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



Dr Alexei Procyshyn



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


The 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.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Understand the major developments in critical theory.
  2. Be able to analyse and critically discuss key texts in critical theory.
  3. Have gained substantial expertise in the methods of European philosophy and critical theory, and appreciate their application to topics in literary and cultural criticism.
  4. Demonstrate the capacity to interpret and evaluate important concepts, arguments and texts, as well as to put forward ideas and arguments of their own in a clear and cogent way.


Within semester assessment: 60%
Exam: 40%

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


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.