Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


Cinema is a powerful medium for the interpretation of the past. Some film biographies, period pieces, and documentaries have provided us with insightful information about human history; others have distorted issues or served as propaganda. This course will study the challenges and promises of film as cultural artefact, introducing students to its contested nature. It draws on theoretical perspectives and critical tools to support the study of history.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Critique the complex relationship between cinematic invention and historical knowledge.

2. Analyse the historical value of film as a site of cultural expression and conflict with the potential to influence cultural change.

3. Identify historical debates in the contested nature of historical representation.

4. Conduct research independently and express clear arguments, either orally or in writing.


This course will focus on societies at war in the modern era and representations of those societies through the medium of the film. It will offer an in-depth, semester long study of predominantly twentieth century conflicts which may include the First and Second World Wars (man in combat, anti-militarism, POWs, enemy perspectives, the Holocaust), Cold War and post-war colonial struggles (focusing on Vietnam and the threat of nuclear annihilation), as well as terror.


This course replaces HIST3030. If you have successfully completed HIST3030 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

There is no assumed knowledge in either history or film although it is preferred that students have done at least 10 units at first year level.

Assessment items

Journal: Journal (30%)

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Oral contribution (10%)

Proposal / Plan: Essay proposal (20%)

Essay: Research essay (40%)

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

Self-Directed Learning

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

Online Film Viewing


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 10 Weeks

Weeks starting 1-9 and 11

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.