Colonising Australia

Subject 131-300 (2009)

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

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (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: 8.5 hours per week
Prerequisites: Usually 12.5 points of second-year history or Australian studies.
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:


Assoc Prof Andrew May


Andrew Brown-May

Subject Overview:

At a time when Australian history is as contested as ever, this subject looks back at some of the key historical moments and themes that shaped late eighteenth and nineteenth century Australia. From debates over its ‘discovery’ and ‘exploration’ by Aborigines, Asian traders and Europeans to its penal colonies and the ‘convict stain’, it looks also at questions that persist today. Was Australia settled or invaded? Was it a new nation or an outpost of the Empire? How did women define their roles in colonial Australia as it moved towards nationhood? And who was allowed to be ‘Australian’? This subject will look also at themes of distance, land, and economic development as well as questions of political rights and national movements with the view to exploring some of the issues and tensions that continue to fuel public debate over the past. It focus on the impact of peoples, ideas and institutions on the land, on each other and on the society that would emerge by 1901. And it will touch on the structures of social organisation, political power, economic activity and everyday life. This broad subject will build a narrative of Australian colonial history and provide an introduction to the changing historiography of the major issues.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject should...
  • have a general understanding of Australian history during the colonial era up until Federation and the early years of the twentieth century.
  • have focused on the impact of peoples, ideas and institutions on the land, on each other and on the society which would emerge by 1901
  • have built a narrative of Australia’s history to the early twentieth century and provide an introduction to the changing historiography of the major issues
Assessment: Archive Exercise (1000 words, due mid semester) 25%; Research Essay (3000 words, due at end of semester) 75%. 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.
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: Students who successfully complete this subject should...
  • develop research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources
  • demonstrate critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument
  • be able to think in theoretical terms through engagement in the methodologies of the humanities and social sciences
  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context through the contextualisation of judgements
  • develop a critical self-awareness, and be open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument
  • communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion
  • have developed written communication skills through essay preparation and writing
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous Studies Major
Australian Studies
Australian Studies
History Major

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