Hi, my name is Ann Vickery and I’m the Head
of Literary Studies at Deakin. Literary Studies is the study of literature, across geography,
cultures, and time. We consider how literary texts offer imaginative and critical responses
to the world and how they shape our relationship to society and others. At Deakin, you will
be taught by a passionate and dedicated team of literary scholars. We have national and
international profiles in areas such as poetry and Australian literature. We also have the
edge in interdisciplinarity with research extending into philosophy and cultural studies.
Our major offers the possibility of studying medieval literature all the way up to contemporary
poetry and zines. Our students gain a capacity to participate in key critical debates; to
understand how literature engages with current topics such as sustainability, sexuality,
globalisation, and transnationalism. Through literary studies, students explore major cultural
and aesthetic movements such as Romanticism, Modernism, and Postmodernism, and gain enhanced
skills at writing, research, and project management. So what does a Literary Studies major involve?
Our first year units introduce you to fundamental theories of literary forms and techniques,
and help develop ways of reading critically. Students are introduced to theories of narrative,
genre, and identity. You develop skills at close reading, critical and creative research,
essay writing and collaboration. We explore genres such as gothic horror, detective fiction,
and romance, as well as classics like Kafka’s Metamorphosis.
At second year, students will choose from units, on supernatural literature, Australian
literature, literary modernisms from around the world and poetry.
At third year, there are further options such as a unit on Philosophies of Heaven and Hell,
a unit on Shakespeare, a unit on Classics and Trash where we do Game of Thrones and
Breakfast at Tiffany’s and a unit on Literature and War. In 2015 we’re offering a new unit
Literary Ecologies which considers the ways in which the environment and the non-human
have been constituted in literary tradition. The unit investigates the end of nature and
the post-human world. A number of our students undertake Literary
Studies alongside creative writing, communication subjects like film and television, or humanities
subjects like history. Others select English as a major teaching method for an Education
degree. Our students have a cutting edge in gaining
jobs in arts management, publishing and editing, the education sector, libraries, and government.
At Deakin, we not only develop advanced critical and organisational skills but we also generate
insights into the relationship between society and its representation, and the role that
words and the imagination play in mapping future trajectories. So I hope you’ll consider
doing Literary Studies at Deakin and that we’ll see you here in the very near future.