HIST2021 Who Do We Think We Are? Doing Family History

6 points
AvailabilityLocationModeFirst year of offer
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Multi-mode
Details for undergraduate courses
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • 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.
  • 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.