Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Simone Murray


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


MUSO postings(1,000 words): 20%
Research essay (1500 words): 30%
Exam (2 hours /1800 words): 40%
Seminar attendance and participation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hour seminar per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Two first-year gateway units in Communications, or Literary studies, or Film and screen studies or by permission.