ATS2162 - Literature and visual culture - 2017

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

School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics


Associate Professor Axel Fliethmann

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit introduces students to the long history of the interface between literature and image(s), also to the theories and systems built around the nexus of literary and visual technologies. In particular, our contemporary world is saturated with visual information, and endless debates about the status of literature in the face of visual media. However, such debates are not without precedence. The Renaissance already witnessed emphatic debates on the impact of visual cultures on discourse, literature, and knowledge as a whole. Furthermore, the question of Literature and the Image is not the exclusive battleground of European languages. Indeed, Asian cultures have a similarly complex history of interaction between literature and visual forms, albeit shaped by the nature of differing writing systems. This electives incorporates this crucial global comparative element to explore the following three main areas of study. First, it addresses the History and Theory of literature and visual culture. Second, it explores the concrete forms of visual culture, such as photography and literature, film and literature, combined forms emerging from Surrealism, Avant-Garde and Pop literature, as well as comics and graphic novels. Finally, it provides a comparative perspective by addressing Asian forms of language and visuality, literature and visuality, and comics and manga.


Upon successful completion of this subject students should

  1. have acquired detailed knowledge of literature as a medium within various formations of visual culture;
  2. have developed a good grasp of key texts and concepts reflecting the intellectual debates on this topic;
  3. have acquired an awareness of the key historical and theoretical implications that distinguish text and image;
  4. be able to engage in informed discussion of the different texts and visual forms studied in the unit;
  5. be able to demonstrate a sense of their own personal and cultural reflexivity as they observe and interpret the theories, concepts and texts analyzed in the unit;
  6. be able to write clear, grammatically and syntactically appropriate, independent essays on topics provided or chosen for assessment.


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 first-year Arts units. It is recommended that students have previously completed a unit in Literary studies.