ALW395 - Writing Lives: Emerging Forms and Contemporary Practices

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Geoff Boucher
Cohort rule:Nil

Two level 2 ALL or ALW units

Incompatible with: Nil
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

1 x 1-hour lecture per week for 6-weeks, 1 x 2-hour seminar per week for 11-weeks

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - online unit enrolment:

1-hour lecture per week for 6-weeks, online independent and collaborative learning activities including 1 x 2-hour seminar per week or equivalent


This unit invites students to draw on lives (their own and others) in order to provoke writing works of a broad kind. With a reflection on existing and traditional modes of life writing, it will challenge students to engage with emergent forms of memoir, biography, fragmentary work, micro-memoir, digital modes and performance practice. The unit encourages experimentation and honing of writing craft in this long-standing and adaptable genre, alongside ethical considerations and composition strategies relevant and useful for writing lives of all kinds.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Demonstrate in critical reflection awareness of diverse existing practices, traditions and examples in life writing, and their relation to your own creative productions and practice ethic.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO5: Problem solving


Demonstrate a broadening of practice in relation to your own life writing, alongside an awareness of and ability to discuss and evaluate possible forms of production and strategies for generating content for the rendering of lived events, consequences and affective modes.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO5: Problem solving


Demonstrate through your creative writing your understanding of and fluency in putting life writing strategies, traditions and contemporary approaches to use.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO4: Critical thinking


Display a willingness to engage in or to activate appropriate strategies and writing practices from the field of contemporary life writing that illustrate innovation and/or fluency in terms of presentation, either through text or audio/visual media, or other modes of creative communication as discussed in learning materials.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO3: Digital literacy

GLO5: Problem solving


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Exercise 1000 words
or equivalent
25% Week 6
Assessment 2 - Essay 1000 words
or equivalent
25% Week 8
Assessment 3 - Exercise 2000 words
or equivalent
50% Week 12

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link ALW395
Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

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