HIST5502 Reading and Questioning the Evidence

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit introduces students to the most up-to-date ways in which historians 'read' and use historical evidence. It examines ways of reading different types of evidence, including documents, photographs, oral histories, monuments, film, landscapes, maps and cartoons. The unit introduces students to a range of other related issues: the selection of evidence; the interpretative frameworks through which evidence can be read; and ways in which these arguments can most fruitfully be communicated. Students also develop the skills necessary to read evidence in rich, new and exciting ways. The knowledge and skills acquired in the unit assist teachers of History in developing their students' capacity to undertake historical investigation, as well as developing their passion for the past.
Students are able to (1) develop an understanding of the issues around the selection of evidence; (2) develop skills in 'reading' specific kinds of historical evidence; (3) have an increased awareness of the possibilities exhibited by particular kinds of evidence; (4) have an increased awareness of the range of interpretative frameworks involved in reading evidence; (5) develop skills in constructing arguments from reading evidence; and (6) gain an appreciation of the new and vast range of evidence employed by historians.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a 1000-word annotated bibliography; (2) an in-class presentation with a reflective essay; and (3) a 3000-word project. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Jenny Gregory
Contact hours
25 hours (14–22 January)
  • 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.