HIST5503 Foundations and Frameworks of Historical Knowledge

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit provides an introduction to the foundations and frameworks of historical knowledge. There are three sections—older history which can be collected under the label of 'positivism'; the new social history; and the new cultural history. Students are introduced to these frameworks through recent historiographical writing and examples. They examine the successes and failures of each approach, and look at how these approaches have been taken up in the recent 'History Wars'. An understanding and appreciation of these three approaches to historical knowledge enables teachers of History to broaden their own ways of looking at and teaching the past, a skill which is of great benefit when teaching the perspective-focused Australian Curriculum—History.
Students are able to (1) develop an understanding of positivist, social and cultural history; (2) recognise the differences and similarities between these frameworks, and comprehend the interrelationship between them; (3) confront each framework with the successes and failures of the others; (4) develop an understanding of the political, social, cultural and intellectual contexts of these frameworks; (5) develop an understanding of how these frameworks have been played out in the context of the History Wars; and (6) gain an understanding of how these frameworks fit into the broader history of history.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a 1000-word annotated bibliography; (2) a 1000-word paper based on an in-class presentation; and (3) a 3000-word essay due at the end of semester. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Jenny Gregory
Contact hours
2 hours per week (over 13 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.