Reading Contemporary Fiction

Unit code: ACL2001 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Online Real Time
Footscray Park
Students enrolled in course code ABAB and LBLA must complete at least 72 credit points (equivalent to 6 units) in Year 1 before undertaking any Level 2 units.
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


This unit of study introduces students to the study and analysis of recent prose fiction (short stories and novels) written in English. These are chosen to exemplify a number of contemporary thematic concerns, a variety of literary techniques, modes of representation and conceptions of the purposes of fiction, and some of the social and contextual influences upon all of these. Students will need both to immerse themselves closely in the details of the works studied and to reflect more generally upon issues thereby raised that relate to recent theoretical debates within literary studies. They will be introduced to basic skills in critical method and to vocabulary relevant to the study of narrative fiction. Students will be encouraged to consider the complex transactional processes involved in responding to texts and discussing them with others.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate literary arguments in a variety of verbal and textual settings and formats;
  2. Apply problem-solving skills to analyse literary texts;
  3. Analyse literary strategies used in representations of diverse cultures by studying particular literary texts; and
  4. Critically reflect upon and discuss issues raised in recent theoretical debates within literary studies.

Study as a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree.

Learn more about single units of study at VU


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Report
Grade: 20%
Summary of critical reading
Assessment type: Test
Grade: 30%
Quizzes x 3
Assessment type: Essay
Grade: 30%
Critical essay
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 20%
Oral presentation

Required reading

There is no set textbook for this unit. A reading list will be provided in VU Collaborate and available at Footscray Park campus bookshop.

As part of a course

This unit is not compulsory for any specific course. Depending on the course you study, this unit may be taken as an elective.

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