Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


The United States is a nation born of revolutionary struggle against an imperial power, yet its core concept of human emancipation was founded upon the enslavement of Africans and the expropriation of native people's lands. This unit examines these deep, shifting and persistence contradictions, from the US–Mexico War to the present day. It is a social and cultural history of the nation and its diverse peoples, with special emphasis on the interaction of everyday life, high politics and evolving political economies. Students gain specific knowledge of American history by analysing its social movements, political transformations, foreign policies and the effects of economic change. At the same time, they gain an understanding of basic issues in the historiography of the United States.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Not available in 2024OnlineOnline timetabled
Not available in 2024AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an ability to assess key concepts and debates in US historiography, serving as an example of broader historical practice; (2) identify and evaluate the historiographical problems posed by the historical interpretation of imperial America; (3) demonstrate detailed knowledge of the major events and key political and cultural movements in United States history from 1845 to present; (4) locate appropriate sources for a research essay including textual, visual and aural primary source materials; and (5) present arguments in both written and oral form using the conventions of the historical discipline.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) an annotated bibliography; and (3) a research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Ethan Blue
Unit rules
12 points of Level 1 units
HIST2240 Cowboy Colonialism: the American West.
HIST2275 The USA from Civil War to Superpower.
HIST2277 The USA since 1945
Contact hours
Lecture x 1 hr per week
Workshop x 2 hrs per week (up to 3 hrs 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.
  • 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.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.