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ENGL465 A Topic in New Zealand Literature

An advanced study of a topic in New Zealand literature.

Janet Frame is a writer with "acute intellect and omnivorous - indeed promiscuous - reading capacities" (Jenny Lawn). As such, Frame occupies a singular position in New Zealand literature: no other New Zealand writer stands in as rich and thoughtful a conversation with the wider world of ideas (drawn primarily from philosophy, psychology and literature) as does Frame. At times, this conversation is self-conscious and deliberate on Frame's part; at other times, it is the reader, and the particular intellectual resources they bring to their engagement with her work, that opens up latent conversations in and with Frame's texts. This paper seeks to read Frame's intricately constructed works of fiction in their various and multifaceted conversations with philosophy, psychology, literature and, more broadly, critical theory.

Alongside Frame's work, we will therefore read a wide range of non-literary texts. These non-literary texts form an integral part of the paper and will be made available in a course reader. Students must be prepared to engage with literary criticism as well as with the sometimes complex philosophical and theoretical texts by a diverse group of writers (including Plato, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, Julia Kristeva and Gilles Deleuze).

Paper title A Topic in New Zealand Literature
Paper code ENGL465
Subject English
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,206.91
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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72 points from ENGL 311-368, EURO 302
Teaching staff
Dr Simone Drichel
Paper Structure
The course spends three sessions on each literary text, with each session focusing on a specific aspect of literary scholarship.
  • Session 1: Textual Analysis
  • Session 2: Literary Criticism
  • Session 3: Theory
Together, the sessions cover the three main aspects of contemporary literary scholarship and thus prepare students for writing successful research essays at Honours level and beyond.
Teaching Arrangements
Seminar-style teaching including student presentations (theory session) and discussion of students' written work (literary criticism session).
  • Owls Do Cry
  • The Edge of the Alphabet
  • A State of Siege
  • Intensive Care
  • Living in the Maniototo
  • The Carpathians
  • Course Reader (available on eReserve)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will gain a thorough understanding of Janet Frame as a writer and thinker, inclusive of a broad cross-section of Frame criticism and relevant theoretical/philosophical material with which Frame stands in conversation.

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system