The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


This course treats the environmental history of Australia, examining the impact of human beings on the continent from ancient times to the present and attempting to understand the cultural assumptions about the environment which guided human practices. It will engage with contemporary debates within the literature on environmental history and provide students with opportunities to conduct original research in the field.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2016.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Design and conduct research projects in Australian environmental history

2. Discuss the historical impact of Australians on their environment and the attitudes which underpin the human use of the environment.

3. Critically analyse issues in Australian environmental history in both written and oral form.


This course will begin with an introduction to the field of environmental history, its principal proponents and its approach to the study of the past. It will then proceed chronologically and thematically through a range of specific aspects of environmental history, which may include: the relationship between traditional Indigenous society and the environment, the impact of systematic burning by Aboriginal peoples, the early European perceptions of the Australian environment, the impact of pastoralism, cities and the environment, the concept of drought, the role of naturalists and captive animal display, the environment and Australian national identity, the environmental movement including heritage legislation, and global warming. Lectures and seminars will be supplemented with practical demonstrations.


This course replaces HIST3065. If you have successfully completed HIST3065 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

20 units in History at 1000 level or equivalent

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Essays / Written Assignments

In Term Test: Examination: Class

Participation: Group/tutorial participation and contribution