HIST2007 Thinking History: The Future of the Past

6 points

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Not available in 2021UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History major sequence
  • 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 or EURO1101 Contemporary European Culture in Historical Perspective or 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.
  • 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.