Studying online

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Unit Overview


Australia's foreign wars have played a critical role in national life and identity. This unit explores Australian involvement in a range of conflicts, including the New Zealand Maori wars, the Sudan conflict, the Boer War, World Wars I and II, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf wars, with a focus on the experiences of service personnel, the home front, reporting of war, and commemoration. It raises questions about the place of wars in national histories, myth and memory. It analyses representations of wars in media such as film and fiction, memory and memorial, art and architecture, and in ceremony and commemoration. It discusses the relationship between the reality of war and changing representations of war, including histories of Australia's wars.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the History major sequence
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) describe and assess key historiographical, methodological and theoretical issues in understanding Australia's foreign wars; (2) identify and evaluate some of the major methodological challenges in war history, including the range of sources and approaches; (3) demonstrate an understanding of an important aspect of Australia's foreign wars and their domestic contexts; (4) analyse a range of historical sources for essay assessments using appropriate methodologies; (5) relate their interpretations to key historiographical debates in Australia's war history; and (6) present complex arguments engaging with the historiography and methodology of Australia's war history in both written and oral assessments.


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

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

Unit rules
a Level 2 History unit
HIST2270 From Sudan to Saddam: Australia's Foreign Wars
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.
  • 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.