Contesting Australia

Subject 102-110 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 2.5 contact hours/week , 5.5 additional hours/week. Total of 8 hours per week.
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Graham Willett


Dr Fay Anderson
Subject Overview: This subject examines rival ideas about Australia. It explores some of the ways in which Australian history, politics, culture and society have been sites of contestation. It looks at issues such as Aboriginality, migration, sexuality, war and conflict, the environment and class/status. It draws upon a variety of texts (fiction, non-fiction, film and other media) to uncover the diverging understandings of what Australia is, has been and might become. On completion of the subject, students should have developed ways to discuss and theorise diverse ways in which political and cultural conflicts can be understood.
Assessment: 1500 word essay 30% (due mid-semester), a 2500 word essay 60% (due during the examination period) and class presentation 10%. Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to be pass this subject.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available at the beginning of semester
Recommended Texts: Prescribed and essential texts are listed above in the Handbook entry. The broader reading list will include: Steven Angelides and Barbara Baird, Histories of Sexualities; Larissa Behrendt, Achieving Social Justice: Indigenous Rights and AustraliaÂ’s Future; Judith Brett and Anthony Moran, Ordinary PeopleÂ’s Politics; Susan Carruthers, The Media at War; David Carter, Dispossession, Dreams and Diversity; Inga Clendinnen, The History Question: Who Owns the Past?; Tim Flannery, Country; Patricia Grimshaw et al, Creating a Nation; Ghassan Hage, Against Paranoid Nationalism; Clive Hamilton, Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough; Peter A Jackson and Gerrard Sullivan, Multicultural Queer: Australian Perspectives; Phillip Knightley, The First Casualty; Mark Peel, The Lowest Rung; Richard White, Inventing Australia
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Have developed critical thinking and analysis skills through reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion
  • Have learned to think in theoretical terms through engagement in the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences
  • Have gained knowledge of the role of social, ethical and cultural context in the construction of knowledge
  • Have developed critical self-awareness and openness to new ideas and possibilities
Related Course(s): Diploma in Arts (History)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Studies
Australian Studies
Australian Studies
Australian Studies Major
History Major

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