Advanced Studies in English and Writing
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This is a compulsory 20 unit course for those who major in English and Writing. However, it is almost entirely self directed - this course does not really teach you anything new, it tries to get you to apply what you already know towards a major project (either a 4,000 creative piece for those who focus on creative writing, or a 4,000 essay for the literature students). It very much feels like a precursor to doing an Honours year. Which is disappointing, for I do not feel like I learnt anything in this course, apart from some abstract notions about internet poetry. The majority of classes (which are 3 hours long) have a guest speaker, but their topics of discussion are rarely significant to the personal work you're encouraged to focus on - we even had to endure a lengthy presentation from the library about how to find information, which is what you already suffer through in your first year - if you don't know how to use the library by your third year then maybe you should rethink uni. We had to write a 1,000 journal article about attending the TINA festival, which felt less relevant to our studies and more of an attempt of the lecturer to boost festival numbers. The "set texts" were not compulsory to read - you only need to have studied one of them for a group work assignment (to which an inappropriately large amount of in-class time is dedicated). One of these set texts was a novel written by Michael Sala, a lecturer at the uni. As his book The Restorer had only been published just prior to the start of uni in 2017, it definitely felt that by making this book a "required" text, there was some ploy to boost his sales. As a book that barely had any reviews or cultural significance or general importance, it was definitely a questionable to force students to buy it. Keri Glastonbury is a knowledgable and friendly lecturer, however I feel she let her personal interests steer the course too much, and she was often disorganised and unclear with assignments - she had not even updated the assignment criteria written by another lecturer in a previous year, so students were constantly misled and confused by vague or conflicting instructions. Overall, this course was very disappointing and frustrating - but it is compulsory, so if you're an English major then I send you my commiserations.