HUMN 2044 Representing Everyday Life in Literary and Visual Cultures

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101917

Coordinator Lorraine Sim Opens in new window

Description This subject explores how the realm of everyday life has been imagined and represented in a range of literary traditions and visual and media cultures. It examines what we understand by this concept, realist and experimental approaches to its representation, and how everyday life is shaped by various historical, social and cultural factors (e.g. technology, gender, class, war). With a focus on modern and contemporary texts and contexts, students will study primary works in relation to key theories of the everyday. Possible topics include: Victorian realism, Surrealism, stream of consciousness narration, social documentary photography, social realist cinema, postmodern narrative, blogs.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Literature

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject


Successful completion of 40 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse ideas and representations of the ordinary/everyday in relation to specific literary and visual traditions and forms
  2. Demonstrate a familiarity with some of the key theories of the everyday in cultural studies and how they can be applied to specific works of literature or visual media
  3. Identify the relationship between concepts of the everyday and historical, social and cultural contexts
  4. Build capacities in the close reading of literary and/or visual texts
  5. Demonstrate skills in oral and written presentation, with a focus on writing skills and effective argument.

Subject Content

. Representations of the ordinary and everyday life in one or more literary genres (e.g. prose fiction, poetry, life writing) and visual media (e.g. photography, film, television)
. Definitions and theories of the everyday in relation to cultural formations and practices (e.g. Walter Benjamin, Surrealism, Henri Lefebvre, Georg Lukacs, Roland Barthes, Ben Highmore, Rita Felski, Jean Baudrillard);
. Critical debates surrounding the (im)possibility of representing the everyday;
. The intersections between the everyday and modernity as related to the primary texts (e.g. spaces, technology, class, ethnicity, gender, war/terrorism, modes and technologies of representation);
. The close study of a select number (e.g. 4) of specific literary traditions and visual and media cultures in terms of their engagement with the subject matter of the everyday. Possible topics include:
- Victorian realism and series fiction
- Stream of consciousness narration
- The everyday and poetic tradition (e.g. Romanticism, Imagism, Objectivism)
- Postmodern narrative
- Blogs and other online media (Twitter, Facebook etc.)
- Surrealism
- Documentary photography
- social realist cinema (e.g. kitchen sink drama)
- Hyperrealism


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Summary 700 words 25 N Individual
Essay 1,200 words 35 N Individual
Essay 1,500 words 40 N Individual