5AAH2013 The History of Australia since 1788
Credit value: 30
Module convenor/tutor: Dr Simon Sleight
Teaching pattern: 20 x 2-hour seminars (weekly)
Availability: Please see module list
Assessment: 1 x 3 hour examination (60%), 2 x 2,000 word essays (30%) &
1 x oral presentation (10%)
This module provides an introduction to the history of Australia from before the arrival of the first white colonists to current times. It asks a number of related questions: who came to Australia in 1788 and why? What impact has more than two centuries of immigration had on Indigenous Australians? How have these movements of people been interpreted and influenced the various meanings attached to being Australian? What role has constitutional change played in these shifting and contested meanings? How has Australia (re)positioned itself in international affairs, particularly within the Asia-Pacific region? To what extent have allegiances to Britain been protected, re-negotiated and critiqued? And how – and based on what factors – is Australia imagined in Britain today?
The course encourages students to place Australian history within international contexts and to use a wide range of historical evidence to do so. It considers how different groups including artists, novelists and politicians have pictured Australia’s past and examines how the recent ‘History Wars’ have led to the reappraisal of Australian history. Topics including convict society, the gold rushes, self-government and political union, city life, the impact of war, Indigenous rights, youth culture and environmental concerns are explored to reveal the forces that have shaped Australians across more than two centuries. ‘The History of Australia Since 1788’ explores central themes in Australia’s past and equips students with an understanding of Australia’s place in the world.