Reading the Past

Course code HIST2002Units 10Level 2000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

This course focuses on the craft of history to explore how varied and controversial historical writing can be. Focusing on landmark events and the diverse methods employed to interpret them – from the empirical to the theoretical to the unconventional – we will interrogate the process by which the past is recovered, constructed and debated. In this course, students will join a discussion about the nature and practice of history as a basis for understanding the contested nature of human experience.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 2
OurimbahSemester 2
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesUpon completion of this course students should be able to:
1) critically reflect on the nature of the past as a field of academic inquiry;
2) demonstrate an understanding of at least one major set of historical events and the historical debates surrounding those events;
3) read, recognise, and analyse a range of theoretical orientations used by historians and other scholars;
4) identify and evaluate a number of methodologies employed by historians and other scholars, including ethical and intercultural issues as they arise;
5) evaluate the use of a range of sources in scholarly argumentation
6) employ a range of sources creatively, ethically and effectively in scholarly writing
7) demonstrate advanced research and writing skills
ContentCourse content in HIST2002 may include: the importance of the past; approaches to writing the past such as 'history from below', top down history, economic history, and gendered history; qualitative and quantitative methodologies for writing the past; the range and nature of sources used to construct arguments about the past, including statistics, oral evidence, documents, as well as visual and material sources; and scholarly debates about the meaning of past events. Selected studies may include: the 'history wars' in a number of countries and across a range of periods; the use of oral history in historical accounts; historical controversies; memory and history; and the various forms of public history making in film, monument and museum. Specific case studies may be included involving issues encountered by academic staff in their own research work.
Replacing Course(s)HIST3059 Writing the Past
TransitionStudents who have completed HIST3059 Writing the Past cannot enrol in HIST2002 Reading the Past.
All students undertaking a BA Program from 2013 who are seeking either a major or a minor in History must undertake this compulsory course.
Other students enrolling in 2013 can take the course as an elective.
Students enrolled in previous iterations of the BA Program prior to 2013, can take the course as part of their degree program either as a constituent of an 80 unit major in History or as an elective.
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeHIST1001 Europe and The World
Modes of DeliveryFlexible Delivery / Student Centred Learning
Internal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Assessment Items
Examination: ClassClass test 20%
Essays / Written AssignmentsTwo or more written assignments, which might include minor or major essays, document interpretation exercises, literature reviews, tutorial papers, book reviews, online quiz, blogs, essay proposals, bibliographies or other similar exercises, totalling 3000 - 3500 words. 70%
Group/tutorial participation and contribution10%
Contact HoursLecture: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Seminar: for 1 hour(s) per Week for 11 weeks
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for HIST2002