HIST2021 Who Do We Think We Are? Doing Family History

6 points
(see Timetable)

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.

Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Online timetabled 100% Online Unit. NO campus face-to-face attendance is required to complete this unit. All study requirements are online only. Unit includes some synchronous components, with a requirement for students to participate online at specific times.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History major sequence
  • Level 2 elective
This unit aims to provide students with the basic knowledge and skills required to research and write life stories in a global and culturally diverse context. Through collaboration with the State Records Office of Western Australia and the State Library of Western Australia, which hold many relevant records and provide access to users, the unit will comprise a series of case studies including hands-on workshops, giving students work integrated and practice-led experience. Students explore both 1., how to do biographical research and write their own family history and/or a globally and culturally diverse biography, as well as 2., how to use these skills in producing other forms of history, including public history. Students are introduced to the relevant sources, information, and techniques employed by family historians in constructing genealogies, including oral interviews, historical records, and photographs, to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship of its members. Key themes are the exploration of global and historical processes of migration and identity-building through tracing family histories, from local to global.
Students are able to (1) develop sound arguments about how the lives of migrants to Australia over the last 230 plus years has been shaped by historical contexts (social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental); (2) describe the historical and cultural processes leading to the global movement and migration of individuals, families and social groups to Australia over the last 230 plus years, through the medium of a family history; (3) demonstrate an understanding of a range of key historical debates that contextualise family history and its cognate historical fields; (4) identify a range of key resources relevant to family history; (5) articulate arguments in verbal and written communication; and (6) reference written work in accordance with the History guide to documentation of sources.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) family narrative; (2) research essay; and (3) workshop participation. 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
Contact hours
2 hour workshop per week for 12 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.