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HIST2016 When Empire Strikes: Imperial Expansion, Resistance, and Rights from Europe to Australasia

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History; Indigenous Knowledge, History and Heritage major sequences
  • Level 2 elective
The 19th Century is often described as the ‘age of empires'. This subject charts colonised peoples' responses to European and Australasian imperialism from late 18th into the 21st Century, with case studies of Indonesian responses to Dutch colonisation, Aboriginal and Dalit responses to British colonisation in Australia and India, Korean responses to Japanese colonisation, Kinh and Montagnard responses to the Chinese and French colonisation of Vietnam, and Australia's role as an imperial power in the Pacific. How, and where, have colonists' assertions of legal sovereignty affected colonised and Indigenous people? How have Indigenous and colonised people used imperial languages and legal systems, routes and rights discourses for their own ends? And how have Indigenous and colonised people represented and contested imperialism in contemporary film and fiction? Students will gain an understanding of the ways that colonised and Indigenous peoples have variously negotiated, gained knowledge about, and resisted imperial power, engage with contemporary debates about empire, and assess the diversity of violent and peaceful strategies of responding to imperialism.
Students are able to (1) describe and assess the basic historiographical issues characteristic of the discipline of History,and apply critical thinking to historical writing on imperial power and resistance thereto; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the history of colonised people's responses to European imperialism, as well as cultural representations thereof; (3) present arguments in both written and oral assessments using the conventions of the historical discipline; (4) demonstrate the ability to locate sources for research essays, and evaluate the questions of historical justice and contemporary politics posed by historical analyses that connect empire with questions of legal rights, dispossession, and resistance; and (5) locate appropriate sources for research essays.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) primary source analysis; (2) research essay; and (3) reflective group tutorial presentation. 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)
Dr Nadia Rhook
Unit rules
a Level 1 HIST or GEND unit; or INDG1150 Aboriginal Encounters: Strangers in our Backyard or INDG1160 Boodjar Moort Katitjin: Introduction to Indigenous Heritage and Knowledge; or a Level 1 ASIA, JAPN, CHIN, K
E unit.
Contact hours
lecture: up to 1 hour per week for 12 weeks
Tutorial: up to 1 hour per week for 11 weeks
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.