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
Monash Passport categoryInternational Short Field Experience (Explore Program)
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)Dr Melinda Harvey


The unit will explore a selection of fiction and non-fiction texts that treat Italy as a site for transformations of the self. These self-discoveries are usually cast as positive but are on occasion of a more unsettling or disturbing kind. The unit will investigate these transformations. It will also consider why Italy has been a place of renewal and 'undoing' in literature over the years and try to account for the popularity of such narratives with readers past and present. In this unit there will be an emphasis on 'geolocated' reading experiences and writing exercises. For this reason there will be a particular focus on 'Tuscan transformations'; we will visit the actual sites and scenes of our texts and there will also be regular in situ writing excursions in Prato and surrounds.


On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the representation of Italy generally (and Tuscany in particular) as a site of personal transformation in range of texts.
  2. Critically describe the diverse history of cultural investments in Italy as an agent of personal transformation for non-Italian writers.
  3. Produce a piece of Creative Writing, either fiction or non-fiction, that explores the transformational potential of Italy.
  4. Appreciate and articulate the relationships between environment, literary criticism and creative practice.


Reading and Writing exercises: 60%
Essay: 40%

Workload requirements

Two week intensive.
Weeks 1 and 2:
2 x 1-hour lectures
2 x 2-hour seminars
1 x 2-hour writing workshop
2 x 2-hour in situ reading/writing field trips

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


A first-year sequence in Literary studies.