ENGL201-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

The Essay and Beyond: Creative Non-Fiction

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


Non-fiction writing has a strong place within the traditions of literature, but has often tended to be neglected as a subject of study. To redress this, we will look at different genres of non-fiction: essays, popular science, travel writing, nature writing, and various types of "life writing". We will question the particular techniques and generic distinctions of texts studied, consider the specific subjects of non-fiction texts, examine how the texts are constructed and discuss their significance in the contexts most relevant to them. In addition, the course will explore the representation of place, displacement and placement; the history of subjectivity; recent interventions into postcolonial, globalisation and literary studies, and ecocriticism and human-animal studies; and the operation of gender and class as they apply to the production and readership of literary non-fiction.

With non fiction writing as the focus of the course, there is also an opportunity offered to students to produce their own creative non-fiction text, with the final assignment.

This course can be used towards an English major or minor. BA students who major in English would normally take at least two 100-level 15 point ENGL courses (which must include at least one of the following: ENGL117, ENGL102 or ENGL103), at least three 200-level 15 point ENGL courses, and at least two 300-level 30 point ENGL courses. Please see the BA regulations  or a student advisor for more information.

Learning Outcomes

  • In this course you will learn:
  • To read a selection of current theoretical approaches to non-fiction forms and contexts;
  • to learn, in an introductory way, about the links between genres of non-fiction writing and the histories of subjectivity;
  • to examine the impact of these histories on the form and function of various modes of cultural production (how they influence contemporary genres of non-fiction);
  • to investigate the politics of gender and class difference as these interrelate with questions of ethnic, racial and cultural difference in representation and reading;
  • to explore the relationships between taste and cultural politics in the production and consumption of non-fiction;
  • to explore possibilities of production of non-fiction texts.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 15 points at 100 level from ENGL, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.

Course Coordinator

Daniel Bedggood


Philip Armstrong


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Essay 1 25%
Essay 2 35%
Essay 3 / Creative Assignment 40%

Textbooks / Resources

All readings will be available on Learn.

Course links

Library portal

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All ENGL201 Occurrences

  • ENGL201-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023