New Zealand Literature: Nation and Narration

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    New Zealand Literature: Nation and Narration

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    English, Literature, Literatures in English

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    A study of New Zealand literature in its diverse cultural, creative and critical contexts. Includes works by major writers of fiction, poetry and drama from the early 20th century to the present.

    This paper offers a selection of New Zealand fiction, poetry and drama. Bridging literary and cultural studies approaches, ENGL 242 presents critical terms and tools to analyse the texts and their contexts. We focus on literary works from the 20th century and map out New Zealand's changing ways of 'narrating the nation'. The paper explores questions raised through the emergence of a variety of literary voices and viewpoints and traces differing and sometimes conflicting ways of narrating New Zealand as a place and an 'imagined community'. Beginning with New Zealand's literary origins as a settler nation, the paper next turns to a phase of literary nationalism and investigates the exclusions that such a focus on the nation generated. It addresses the 'Maori Renaissance' in its response to, and liberation from, such exclusions, before concluding with more contemporary responses to the New Zealand nation.

    Learning Outcomes
    ENGL 242 aims to:
    -Present a selection of New Zealand literature in relation to its cultural contexts
    -Develop skills in various aspects of literary study, including tools and terms for critical and cultural analysis
    -Address aspects of essay writing and expression
    -Explore some of the important themes and modes of expression found in New Zealand literature

    Mansfield, Katherine. Collected Stories (Penguin)
    Course Reader (Short Stories by Frank Sargeson and Poetry; available from the Print Shop)
    Frame, Janet. Owls Do Cry (Vintage)
    Grace, Patricia. Mutuwhenua: The Moon Sleeps (Penguin)

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

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Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.