HIST2007 Thinking History: The Future of the Past

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit answers the question 'what is history?'. It examines the development of the History discipline in order to illuminate the practice of historians today. Students master 'historiography'—the theoretical foundation of the discipline. Such theory can be as exciting as the past itself. Historians have disagreed bitterly about historical practice, to the point where commentators write passionately about 'history wars'. The unit surveys the embattled development of the discipline by examining exemplary historians. It locates these figures in their time and place, while relating them to the great conceptual issues that engage historians today. Among these issues, it studies social and cultural history, discusses feminist, poststructuralist, and postcolonial interventions in the History discipline, and considers postmodern critiques of historical 'truth' itself. The unit is recommended for all students planning to proceed to honours in History and wishing to gain an enhanced understanding of historical theory.
Students are able to (1) describe and assess the basic historiographical issues characteristic of the discipline of History; (2) demonstrate a detailed understanding of the history of the History discipline since its establishment during the nineteenth century and a comprehension of major conceptual modes in 'thinking history'; (3) locate appropriate sources for research essays; and (4) present arguments in both written and oral assessments using the conventions of the historical discipline.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation; (2) a research essay; and (3) a review essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Jane Lydon
Unit rules
a Level 1 History unit
EURO1101 Contemporary European Culture in Historical Perspective
GEND1901 Gender in Australia
Contact hours
2 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.