ATS3091 - Digital literatures - 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

Literary Studies


Associate Professor Simone Murray

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit considers literary texts created specifically for digital platforms, spanning the 1980s to the present day. Students examine the theoretical underpinnings of digital literature in poststructuralist, cyberculture and contemporary media theories, as well as performing textual analysis of examples from major genres (hypertext fiction; networked writing; analogue-print hybrids; interactive fiction; and social-media narrative). The unit emphasises the constantly-evolving relationship between digital technologies and literary creators' uses of them. We will also consider issues of longevity and canonicity for digital literatures given the rapid rate of obsolescence in digital platforms.


Students successfully completing this unit will demonstrate:

  1. knowledge of poststructuralist, cyberculture and contemporary media theories influencing development of digital literatures;
  2. familiarity with some of the major subgenres, texts and authors in the digital literature domain;
  3. appreciation of the inter-relationship between evolving media technologies and digital literary genres from 1980s to the present;
  4. ability to engage in debates between various 'generations' of digital literature practitioners and critics;
  5. understanding of the challenges digital literature presents to traditional print-culture notions of textual fixity, longevity and canonicity, and implications of these for the future of literary studies broadly;
  6. ability to situate digital literatures within changes in the broader contemporary book world, especially around digital technologies and eBooks;
  7. Skill in navigating digital literary texts on various media platforms


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.