HIST2015 Looking for Australia: From the Deep Past to Federation

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Not available in 2020AlbanyFace 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
What is Australia? This unit critically interrogates the national framework for Australian history, aiming to explore the continent's long-term history in regional and global context, and its culturally diverse identities. Applying a historical focus to the many ways the continent has been understood, we adopt a case study approach, starting with the concept of ‘Deep Time', our geological and biological history, the arrival of humans, Asian polities and trade, cosmopolitan networks and European ‘discovery' from the 17th century onwards, British imperialism, colonisation and cultural exchange, and key themes in the Australian imaginary over the 19th century such as multicultural economies, gender and empire, and citizenship and rights at Federation in 1901. Through documentary, material and visual sources, the unit aims to develop an informed and critically engaged citizenship, and to give students skills in the historical and cultural analysis of Australia in its global relationships.
Students are able to (1) understand the long-term, global and culturally diverse history of Australian society, and demonstrate familiarity with key themes and case studies from Australia's deep, global and diverse past; (2) demonstrate cultural literacy by developing a personal, social and ethical awareness of the legacies of Australia's deep, global and diverse past; (3) identify and evaluate some of the major debates and key historiographical issues in Australia's deep, global and diverse past; (4) evaluate the authority of different arguments made about the past; (5) express ideas and arguments cogently in written and spoken forums; and (6) deploy the bibliographical skills necessary to find appropriate sources and produce a viable research proposal in order to undertake a research essay.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) an assignment; (2) an essay; and (3) workshop participation—assessed throughout the unit. 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
Advisable prior study:
24 points of study
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hour per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week from week 2.
  • 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.