LIT216 Introduction to Literary Theory (8)

This subject introduces students to some of the key concerns of contemporary literary theory (concerns encountered across the field of literary studies). It involves the consideration of a number of important essays in the field both in terms of the theoretical issues on which they comment and in terms of the various 'schools' of theory and criticism that the essays represent.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a capbility of reading and discussing theoretical discourse critically
  • be able to demonstrate a familiarity with key concepts and distinctions (e.g.langue/parole, sign, subject, discourse, ideology, author/scriptor) thematised by contemporary literary theory
  • be able to demonstrate and awareness of some of the assumptions that inform their own reading and thinking about literature and culture
  • be able to describe the values and premises of some of the major 'schools' of criticism and theory, and to recognise the way in which these values inform particular instances of criticism


This subject will cover the following topics:

The reading of key essays in contemporary literary theory - a reading mediated by explanatory commentary (provided by lecturer) clarifying concepts, motivations and contexts that inform and/or are presupposed by the essays Introduction (through this reading) to key literary theoretical concepts and arguments.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of LIT216 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Short essays on topics 1-4
Essay discussing texts associated with topics 5-8
Online discussion

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.